When most of us think about unconditional love, we believe that what we are seeking is someone who will love us no matter what. Someone who will see past our flaws, rejoice in our uniqueness, and accept us as we are. When we find someone who meets these criteria, for a time we are happy. We feel loved and safe and cared for. But where do these feelings really reside? When we feel happy or lovable or worthy, it isn't actually the other person's feelings that we are experiencing, but rather our reaction to their confirmation of us. In having them see the good in us, we experience a temporary removal of the barrier that keeps us from seeing the same in ourselves. We might have a similar experience when we achieve a goal or surmount a challenge. None of these gratifications provide enduring fulfillment but they give us hope that our search is not in vain. The closer we come to ourselves, the less contingent our happiness is on the validation of people and events around us.