Joan Larsen Presents Eileen Rockefeller: Unconditional Love

Posted on September 6, 2017


In this week following Labor Day, we are delighted to welcome writer-author Eileen Rockefeller to join us once again .  Her words remain always deep — and so deeply felt –and you will find yourself, as I do, nodding your head in agreement as she writes.  We, too, find that it is only in the natural world that we find ourselves uplifted, renewed, and often stunned by the beauty we have seen.  As Eileen has, my own family has spent hours in a nearly forest.  From an early age, we have seen our children following our same winding paths, finding the wonders of nature seeping into their own hearts and souls.  Our family has been drawn together.  
In this natural world, we have been granted the great gift of all.  I call it love.
Joan Larsen

Unconditional Love

by EileenRockefeller

I’ve been thinking lately about unconditional love, the quality of acceptance which everyone seeks, but is sometimes hard to find. I discovered this week that it exists all around us; we just have to know how to look.

The epiphany came about rather unceremoniously. A few months ago my husband Paul and I had decided to experiment with new ways to deepen our practice of the Sabbath, or Shabbat. For years we have been honoring the weekly ritual on Friday night of lighting candles and saying blessings over bread and wine to honor the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath. Lately we have been trying to focus our Saturday on “being” rather than “doing.”

This past Saturday, on a particularly balmy evening, we lay outside on some chaise lounges gazing up at the fast-moving clouds.

The sky was alive; its moods constantly changing with shapes and creatures morphing before our eyes. It mirrored my mind. As the light waned my thoughts slowed. Neither of us spoke.

A slight breeze was blowing, making the grass shiver before us. My eyes fixed upon the pulsing sea of green. I decided to see if I could mimic its rhythm with my own breath, following what I had learned from meditation tapes.

A robin hopped into view. Its beak dipped and tugged at a worm, jerking backwards. I watched it swallow, and a thought came to me then, drifting on the scent of lilacs and meadow grass.

In the natural world there is no ‘good,’ or ‘bad.’ No judgment. Everything is completely accepted. Therefore, Nature – or you might say the Eternal– is unconditionally loving.

If we are unconditionally loved by Nature —or whatever you choose to call it— then we belong to something bigger than any one person, and the love of the Universe is much bigger than what any individual could give.

Love is SO big, in fact, that there can be no question about the rightness of each of us being here in this moment on Earth. We don’t need to go anywhere to discover this. Wonder and love are all around us, in every cloud and blade of grass. We are, and therefore, we are loved.


Eileen Rockefeller is the youngest daughter of David and Peggy Rockefeller, and a great-granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller.  A pioneer in catalyzing broad acceptance of mind/body interactions and the importance of social and emotional skills for success in life, Eileen was a co-founder of CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) along with Daniel Goleman and 6 others in 1994. She is also the co-chair of her family’s generational association, and founding chair of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and the Growald Family Fund. She has two grown sons and lives on an organic farm in Vermont with her husband. Her book, Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself, was published in 2014.