“Unconditional love is loving someone beyond their limits and yours.”Unknown
Many people fling this term around. Unconditional Love…what is it? How do you get it? Is it really possible?
Before I had children, the idea of Unconditional Love was a distant and remote concept for other people. My Love had all the conditions. My parents had conditional Love for me. I had conditional Love for everyone and anyone. My friends had to be a certain way. My boyfriends needed to behave a certain way. If they did not, they felt the wrath of my displeasure and my taking away of whatever form of Love I decided to show them.
When the boys were born, I started to feel a slight stirring that things weren’t working that way for me any longer. I remember when my son Cole was four years old and he wrote on our very expensive, pre-kids sofa with a permanent marker. I was so upset, and I wanted to yell to show him how wrong he was for doing that. I knew that when I was his age my father would have screamed at me; he would have definitely spanked me, but I looked at his little face and I just knew there was no couch on the planet that was worth that.
When he was a bit older, he got in trouble because I found out he was stealing money from his little brother. We talked and he was so remorseful. He was crying and saying that he didn’t want to do it, but the desire to have the money was more than he could ignore, so he took it. Fear took over. What can I do, I thought, to show him how bad what he has done is? Yell? Ground him? Tell him how horrible he is? How can I scare him enough to never do this again. Then I looked in his little face and I told him the truth with Love:
“Cole, what you did is so very wrong. You are a good boy and I love you so very much. You need to make better choices and not steal from anyone. It is wrong and the consequences far outweigh the benefits. I love you more than anything if you steal or not, but now you are going to have a consequence so you can see how important this is.” I don’t remember what the consequence was, I just didn’t impose it out of anger. We hugged and he cried and told me and his brother that he was so completely sorry. He never stole from his brother again.
These two instances opened my eyes to the power of Unconditional Love. My Love for my children is not contingent on their behavior. I don’t love them only if they make me happy and my life less complicated. When I am angry with them, I don’t scream and name call. I don’t shame them and put them down. I don’t ignore them and make them guess. I don’t make them feel like they have to earn my love back. My Love is constant. Even in the midst of reprimanding them, I will say, “I love you.” They always say it back.
Advice on loving someone unconditionally? I really don’t have any, but I know once I felt it with them, I could apply it to others because Love should not cost anything. All Love should be unconditional, without limits or borders. As an emotion, it is completely free. You couldn’t construct and sell it in a store if you wanted to! Contrary to the commercial, Love is not a Subaru.
So think about who you love today and ask yourself under what conditions you love. What about the people in your life? Do you feel they love you without conditions and expectations? I wish for all of you the answer is a resounding “yes”.
Love and Light, Lovelies.