Today I would like to blog about love. To be more precise: Unconditional love. A few years ago I thought I had it all figured out what unconditional love means. Of course as the name says you would think that loving someone unconditionally means loving that someone without putting conditions, with all his/her limitations, flaws and all the gremlins in his/her closet. Well, little did I know a few years ago that there is much more to unconditional love than I had experienced or known before.The story below by Paulo Coelho will show you what I mean and after you read it I will explain how I came to experience the other side of unconditional love.

The cloud and the dune
Paulo Coelho

“Everyone knows that the lives of clouds are very active, but very short,” writes Bruno Ferrero. And that brings us to another story:
A young cloud was born in the middle of a great storm in the Mediterranean Sea. But it hardly had time to grow there; a strong wind pushed all the clouds towards Africa.
As soon as they arrived on the continent, the climate changed: a warm sun shone in the sky, and down below the golden sand of the Sahara desert spread into the distance. The wind continued to push them towards the forests in the south, since it hardly ever rains in the desert.
However, just as it is with young people, so with young clouds: this one decided to break away from its parents and older friends, to see the world.
- What are you doing? – complained the wind. – The entire desert is exactly the same! Come back to the group, and let’s go to the center of Africa, where there are beautiful mountains and trees!
But the young cloud, a rebel by nature, did not obey; little by little, it lowered its altitude, until it was able to float on a gentle, generous breeze down near the golden sands. After wandering all over the place, it noticed that one of the dunes was smiling at it.
It was because the dune was also young, recently formed by the wind which had just passed. Straight away, the cloud fell in love with its golden hair.
- Good morning – said the cloud. – What is it like living down there?
- I have the company of the other dunes, the sun, the wind, and the caravans which pass by from time to time. Sometimes it is very hot, but it is bearable. And what is living up there like?
- There is also the wind and the sun, but the advantage is, I can wander across the sky and get to know everything.
- For me life is short – said the dune. – When the wind returns from the forests, I will disappear.
- And does that make you sad?
- It gives me the impression that I am of no use to anyone.
- I feel the same way. As soon as another wind comes, I will go south and become rain; however, that’s my destiny.
The dune hesitated for a moment, before saying:
- Did you know that, down here in the desert, we call the rain Paradise?
- I didn’t know I could become something so important – said the proud cloud.
- I’ve heard several legends told by old dunes. They say that, after the rain, we are covered in herbs and flowers. But I’d never know what that is like, for in the desert it only rains very rarely.
This time it was the cloud which hesitated. But then it started to smile joyfully:
- If you like, I can cover you with rain. Although I’ve only just arrived, I am in love with you, and would like to stay here forever.
- When I first saw you up in the sky, I too fell in love – said the dune. – but if you turn your lovely white hair into rain, you will die.
- Love never dies – said the dune. – It transforms; and I want to show you Paradise.
And so it began to caress the dune with droplets; they remained together like this for a long time, until a rainbow appeared.
The next day, the small dune was covered in flowers. Other clouds passing towards central Africa, thought that must be part of the forest they were searching for, and poured down more rain. Twenty years later, the dune had become an oasis, which refreshed travelers under the shade of its trees.
And all because, one day, a loving cloud hadn’t been afraid to give up its life in the name of love.

This story had touched me on so many different levels and brought tears into my eyes many times. It made me realize that love is everywhere. That the motion of life itself is driven by love. Unconditional love. The cloud didn’t mind to die for the dune to experience her “paradise” because the cloud knew that love never dies, it just transforms itself into something bigger and more beautiful.

And this reminded me of the relationship I had several years ago. We loved each other very much, but somehow we both felt that we needed to grow as individuals, that we needed to become “whole”. Two halves do not make a whole when it comes to a healthy relationship: it takes two wholes.

I just remember our last night together. We knew it was coming to an end. We slept arm in arm, I cried most of the night because letting him go felt like something was dieing inside of me. It was probably one of the most painful experiences in my life. And yet, at that very moment I remembered this story with the little cloud and the dune. And I realised that nothing was dieing. But that our unconditional love was so big, that we were prepared to let each other go and experience ourselves, to become bigger than we were before: To become whole. I realised that by letting him go we both would grow our own indiviual “paradises” and the seed of our unconditional love was what we needed to embark on this journey.

As I realised this something happenend within me. I felt my heart was healing and opening up more, for I was afraid it would close down and not be able to love again. Instead, the opposite happenend. I felt unconditional love deep within me, for him, for myself and for the whole wide world. And that stayed with me until today.

For all of those out there who are reading this and who are in a relationship but know that it is somehow limiting you or making you feel like you can’t be yourselves, that you are not growing anymore, you are in an eternal state of worry, anger or simply you just feel you are too scared to be on your own and that’s why you keep going, my advise is: don’t be scared to let go as this will open yourselves up to bigger and better things in your lives, it will make you face and overcome your fears, it might embark you on a journey of self-discovery. You might meet new people in your lives, find new hobbies, move to another country or a new city. Whatever it is that you are searching for, you will most likely only find it once you feel free and are prepared to work on your “half” to become a “whole”.

I would like to end this blog entry with a beautiful quote by Osho:
“The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person — without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.”

If you have experienced something similar in the past or are in such a situation right now where you feel it’s time to leave but feel too scared to make the final decision, leave a comment below or email me. I would like to hear your stories!

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Author's Bio: 

Lais Stephan ia a certified Alternative Therapy Practitioner working with holistic methods, such as SIAM REIKI, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Crystal Healing and several Massage Techniques.