“apart from the relationship between an individual and a higher power, unconditional love doesn’t exist.”
This is what my counsellor told me when I tried to tell her that someone claimed to love me unconditionally; it was the first I’d heard of it. I didn’t grow up knowing what that stuff meant. My parents loved me, no doubt, but how they showed it was different (see “daddy-hits-me-because-me-loves-me“).
So naturally, I was confused and in awe of this concept of unconditional love at a human level; I could mess up and still be loved? Apart from a higher power, I didn’t think anyone could love anyone like that, and even then I’d wonder how that made sense… Bad people didn’t deserve love. Not more of it. Bad actions = punishment. I sin, I repent. Simple….
Needless to say, having someone ‘swoop in’ and say, “I love you unconditionally”.. I don’t think they realize what that did to me. Or for me. The more my counsellor advised that I was disillusioned, my relationship with this person was more codependent than care-based, the more I fought to hold on; there was no way she was going to degrade something I held in such high regard, something so… pure. So sacred. A bond I cherished very deeply.
Regretfully, I think she was right…
I don’t think the world we live in facilitates that kind of love between humans. We just don’t know how to appreciate it. Some of us don’t think we deserve it, we don’t understand it, or just can’t comprehend it. Whatever the reason, it’s overwhelming. To have the capacity to love and care for someone like that scares me.
To know that despite the actions and decisions of an individual, whatever “F@cked up $h!t” they’ve done, or they think they’ve done, your love for them remains steadfast and vice versa.
That’s scary! How vulnerable that renders us?! How open to manipulation?!
What’s more is that we can’t convince a person of what we feel for them, that’s their issue. Unconditional love is just that, without conditions. This means that regardless of whether they believe you, receive you, understand or deserve you, you give love anyway and that’s that.
If they choose to isolate, so be it. Love them anyway—albeit, from a distance.
If they choose to run away, so be it. Love them anyway, but let them go.
If they choose to turn it down, so be it. Love them anyway– giving does not = receiving.
Now that’s unconditional.
If you didn’t get any recognition, acknowledgement of the love you gave, in whatever form or shape you gave it, would you still give it? Could you still give it? If yes, then maybe you’re on to something. Maybe. If not, it can’t be unconditional. Do you think a higher power expects acknowledgement? Heck no, big guns barely gets any credit, but gives anyway, and to everyone; the good, the bad, the undeserved. Everyone.
Some would argue a mother’s love is unconditional, but if your child rebels and goes against everything you’ve taught him, would you still love him unconditionally? Sure. But should she? Is that mother enabling him with that love? Is her unconditional love hindering his growth? Preventing his progress? A, god-forbid, disservice?! And couldn’t the son be inclined to take advantage of that love?
See what I mean; I don’t think we as humans can handle it, I think we need conditions– boundaries, if you will. What we don’t need however, is judgement and perhaps that is the closest we’ll get to unconditional love.
Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them,” but I propose an alternate concept; if you love someone, you don’t have time to judge them…
So, whether we can love without conditions or not, I don’t know, but maybe… just maybe, loving beyond judgement is enough to aspire to.
To thine own self, be true.
If your heart’s not in it… take yourself out of it.