The phrase “unconditional love” has been bandied about in books, relationship discussions and conversations amongst friends.
Most people don’t look beneath the surface when it comes to what exactly is defined as “unconditional love”. Unconditional love has nothing to do with changing someone, getting your way, physical attraction, perfection, rules, a happy fairytale ending, right or wrong, unrealistic expectations or anything else requiring a non-suspended state of ultimatums.
Unconditional love is the only real, true love in the Universe. You cannot kick it to the curb, rip it out of your heart or vacuum it out of your life force, it never, ever goes away. Yikes! Sounds like a trap!
It isn’t a trap; in fact it is an energy conserver. Just think of all the twisting, churning, yearning, crying, whining, manipulating, fighting, forcing, nagging and other circus tricks based on your conditions of love, whew! I am wiped out just writing all those verbs. These action words create a different four-letter word that doesn’t begin with an “L”.
Unconditional love is not about change it is about acceptance. Accepting the other person and the current circumstances as they show up, with no hope or thought of change is the etymological of unconditional.
The funny thing is when you let go of wanting someone or something to change, you find more often than not, they seem to change without your help, criticism or force. If you can’t accept the reality, then you are talking about “conditions.” Boundaries are healthy; conditions on the other hand lead to an ultimatum.
Not getting your way. What a bummer! Unconditional love isn’t about winning or losing, because no matter what happens, you still get to love each other. Yup! You don’t have to get your way. You just have to ask yourself two questions:
A) Do I love this person, because of how they do something for me?
B) Or do I love them just because they exist?
If you answered B, you hit the mark of what is deemed unconditional.
Unconditional love ain’t got nuthin’ to do with looks. As we’ve been told since we were kids, it is all about what’s on the inside of the potpie! All people deserve love whether you find them attractive or not.
Once that first blush of infatuation is off the apple of your eye, your microscope could go into action searching and destroying the “love” and your beloved’s self esteem with every imperfection you find. It creates distance and an opportunity for you to ask yourself if you really love this person. How could you when you are working against love? No, it ain’t love.
If you are wrapped up in what is wrong with your mate, imagine how wrong you must be to you? If we have a really loud judge criticizing others, imagine his companion, your inner critic. Call a truce and feel the love.
What about “perfection”? WTF is that? Not one single person or relationship will ever achieve this status. Take it on out of that Algebra problem. If you believe in perfection you are going to be disappointed. That is one thing us humans struggle with is disappointment.
Speaking of disappointment, please, please do yourself a favor and accept that it is bound to happen. How you react to it is the only difference. Nothing can prevent disappointment from taking place.
What about “rules of engagement”? Rules mean you tow the heavy rope connected to an anchor aboard the likes of the Titanic. Rules protect no one. Did you ever notice how people love to break rules? Push the envelope and rebel? Unconditional love means you love that rule breaker.
This love without rules offers a way to avoid self-induced disappointment. If you discard rules, you don’t have to be disappointed when someone breaks them.
Not to gloss over situations which are abusive and extraordinarily painful; sometimes you gotta get that soul train to another place. Just because you unconditionally love someone does not mean you have to accept being in a relationship with that person. You accept where they are and where you are.
Maybe there exists no point in the middle for you both to gravitate toward each other like magnets.
You don’t have to remove the love, because you cannot shake real love. You can however, let them go and find others to love too. The heart has room to love more not less.
When you direct the love inwards and it shines outwards without conditions, you’ll be surprised by what you attract.
Unconditional love does not end in a fairy tale nor is your relationship a fairy tale, and really do we need the drama of a fairy tale, really? You can place expectations in the drama bucket too. Expectations are always someone else’s idea of perfection.
Unconditional love can prove to be challenging in deference to the ego.
This includes having to be right. Really who wins in this boxing match, the one on the mat or the one still standing? Doesn’t really inspire lovin’ feelings, it is more like resentment, anger and disconnection.
Unconditional doesn’t mean disagreements or anger do not happen. It means the over-arching theme is not to break down, beat up or drag the relationship sideways through a swamp. It means the bottom line is to remember the love. Where is the love?
I asked for unconditional love in all of my relationships a few years ago. I will save that tale for another day, and how easy it has not been to truly practice it, yet how groovy I feel doing it at the same time. For now, I can say very clearly, unconditional love changed me as a human being.
To place love as the goal always, it has been a zig-zaggin’ road. Sometimes my ego jumps in the guise of taking care of my needs. I’ve learned to recognize it. Ego always separates; it needs to win and will hurt everyone in its way.
Unconditional love is the safe place. It is the home that will not evict you, the harbor in the storm, and the roots of your own self-growth because unconditional love starts from within. You’ve got to love yourself unconditionally before you can authentically provide it for another.
If you feel safe, warm and comfy-cozy inside with “love” then you can provide that same sort of sense sensation to another human being. You have your fireplace and hot chocolate to come home to every moment of every day.
Editor: Jennifer Cusano
Tracy Crossley is a hyphenate: female, writer, curiosity quencher, artist, poet, gardener of real gardens and existential ones, clairvoyant, momma to grown ups, life coach and real, imperfect chick. Love life, even days when I don’t like it and appreciate, appreciation for everything. Website: www.13degreez.com and Blog: 13degreez.wordpress.com.