When we limit our love to a specific person (we do not mean sexually, but rather emotionally, mentally and spiritually), it is difficult to experience love in its highest expression. We love this person and not others. We tend to focus on a specific person, “loving” them often because they offer us security, pleasure or affirmation; or because we consider them to be “ours.”
Pure love is universal. It can express itself toward any particular being, but it cannot limit itself to that being or group of beings. If it does, then it is love mixed with conditions. Each individual is one of the countless waves on an ocean of consciousness. The ocean is the One Universal Consciousness, which is temporarily taking the form of those specific waves and then disappearing into the formlessness of the ocean again before reappearing as billions of others. All waves are expressions of the one ocean.
When we single out one specific wave from the ocean of beings and limit our love to that, we are, in essence, loving an illusion. That being which we love is just a temporary manifestation of the one Universal Being, which manifests as all the other beings simultaneously.
That form on which we focus is a temporary physical, emotional, mental manifestation that will dissolve back into the ocean. When we love the water in that wave, that is, its spiritual essence, the spirit within, we begin to love all waves. The same water is in all the waves. The same spiritual essence is in all beings.
Then we love the spiritual essence in others and not only their form or the specific benefits that we receive from them. We love the spirit within.
Our love now becomes both unconditional and universal. It is unconditional because it does not depend on what others do or do not do, and universal because we start to love more and more people independent of their appearance, character and other superficial factors. We love the spirit within them. We as spirit are one with the spirit, which is within them.
So we can love the wave or we can love the ocean and thus all the waves. This is our choice.
Love is like the gold ore that is brought up from the earth; it is mixed with other metals (emotions, needs). Our job is to purify that gold through our efforts to love unconditionally in all of our relationships, no matter what the other does or does not do.
Only then will we truly be happy.
Only then will experience our true Self.