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A state of mind characterized by the belief that external conditions (including others’ behaviors) are the cause of one’s well-being or suffering.

When you get stuck in conditionality, you automatically look outside yourself for your well-being. How you feel seems to depend on outer conditions, including...

  • the behavior of your friends, family, children, coworkers, strangers, corporations, governments, etc.
  • your physical condition, financial position, relationships
  • your social status (“success”/”failure”, “winning”/”losing”)
  • what others think about you

The quintessential example of conditionality is when you check the weather conditions to decide if you’re going to have a good day (sunny and mild) or a bad day (too cloudy, too wet, too hot, too cold, etc.). In conditionality you feel powerless — a victim of circumstances.

Mild conditionality is natural for babies and younger children who have yet to develop the ability to direct their own thoughts, but it is amplified in children who feel chronically disempowered and/or whose parents are themselves highly conditional.

The “cure” for conditionality is unconditionality.

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