"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
How we are taught to love is a contributing factor to this. We are in the main just taught ‘conditional’ love. These conditions breed a dualistic mind, the mind that operates on the premise of good-v-bad, light & dark, right -v- wrong etc. We are operating then with the dichotomy of a judgmental mind.
The task is learning how to dismantle the conditions. The road towards unconditional love may not be easy path, but if we allow ourselves time we can break down the ‘fear’ and allow ourselves the opportunity to begin loving without judgment or fear.
However, I see a trap in this, as when we shift from a dualistic mind to a singular mind set (one where we perceive the self to be improved, better or even enlightened; we can get tangled in a mess here for although we may have attained some improvement, we are still operating with a motive or conditioned mindset. I think this can still be a mind based on fear. The only transition being to a higher realm of discernment but still one that is capable of making judgments and therefore operative with a sense of fear. The examples of this are persons who are religiously ‘born again’, and display a turning from their old dualistic mind to one of singular mindedness, so to aid better choices. I have noticed that these people can operate a certain judgment and fear and hence become incapable of unconditional love. I hasten to add that such a mindset is not limited to religious folk, we all operate in this way!
So what are we left with? I think Zen philosophy can help us here. as it teaches us to let go of both dualistic and singular minds and transcend to a not often visited place in the human mind which is even beyond ‘enlightenment’ as this is the Free Mind.
NB. I am at this very moment speaking from experience, as I am encountering a person who is very ‘Difficult’ to be around. My options are, to not love because I fear, or to unlearn and relearn so that I may over come the fear which was planted like a seed with certain ‘conditions’. I am so far away from a ‘Free Mind’ but I am learning to use the map to find it.
"Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."