“To be brave is to love someone unconditionally without expecting anything in return.”
Slowly I am learning what unconditional love means. Loving unconditionally is a commitment to love an imperfect person. Just as much as we are all imperfect and perfection doesn’t exist. . Loving unconditionally is scary and vulnerable. In reality love causes pain and hurt. To love someone with complete vulnerability that they can cause hurt in your life is scary. Being vulnerable while loving wholeheartedly is part of living fully. It scared the shit out of me but it is a path I want to start walking. I want to love with my whole heart and mind. Sometimes love isn’t what we expect it to be. It can come in many forms, bonds and experiences.
True love means giving each other the opportunity to grow. Whether that is in a relationship or apart. Loving unconditionally is the commitment at the end of the day to another human being that creates long lasting relationships. It includes sacrifice and commitment. However, this does not mean that you are to accept toxic or abusive behaviors or to give up your own dreams and needs. Sometimes we must love someone from a distance to protect ourselves.
How can you love unconditionally?
1. Forgiveness – Unconditional love says you hurt me, you disappointed me but I forgive you anyways. I love you with your flaws and imperfections. Every human being is imperfect. We can not live up to false expectations of never making a mistake. To love unconditionally means to acknowledge the fact that everyone will fail. People will hurt us. It is our decision to continue to love this person or to walk away. Forgiveness is necessary to create healthy long term relationships. By no way am I saying that you should stay in a relationship that is abusive or unhealthy. However, even healthy life giving relationships will be faced with the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is freeing especially for the one offering the forgiveness. It can be incredibly hard to forgive someone that has caused pain in our heart. However, holding on to a negative situation and letting it reside in your heart is toxic.
2. Self Love- To love others fully we must learn to love ourselves first. How we treat ourselves is a reflection in how we will let others treat us. Love yourself unconditionally. Acknowledge your weaknesses, your failures, your mistakes. Now rise up above all those and know how worthy you are of unconditional love. You are worthy of true healthy love and commitment.
3. Sacrifice- Unconditional love includes sacrifice. We sometimes sacrifice our own wants for the benefit of others. Take a mother and child relationship. This is one of the most beautiful forms of unconditional love and sacrifice. We may sacrifice a temporary want for the well being of our relationships. Do not sacrifice your self worth or respect. However, there is the sad truth that some childeren, are raised with conditional love. Even from their parents. This is what turns people into perfectionists. The child will do anything to be loved, to be validated by the parent. This is why you have to find back to your own core and selfworth if you have been raised like this by one or both of your parents. It can leave some serious damage and it takes some innerchild work to heal this part within ourselves to become the loving parent we never had so that we learn to love ourselves unconditionally and understand what sacrifice means out of a place of self-love and so that we understand that perfection doesn’t exist.
4. Vulnerability- Being vulnerable can bring fear into our hearts. We fear being rejected or not understood. However, when we fully open our hearts and live with openness we let more love in. Vulnerability is saying I love you enough to be open and honest even though I fear rejection.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” Brene Brown
5. Wholeheartedness – Love with your whole heart. Love fully and passionately. Loving unconditionally means that you will continue to love this person with your whole heart not a piece here and there. Love them when they are in a bad mood, love them when they are sick or depressed, love them when they are unlovable. Share your heart with them so that they know the beautiful feelings that you have for them.
6. Courage – To love unconditionally takes courage. A whole lot of courage! Especially when our heart has been broken it takes courage to keep loving, to keep trying and to never give up. When we have experienced great heart break it is often hard to open our hearts again. Loving unconditionally is one of the bravest things you will ever do. Therefore this form of love is very rare. We hardly even know how to love ourselves. Only if we feel true love for ourselves, we can feel that same compassion for others and our need to judge will soften. It takes some courage to constantly open up your heart, after you had to protect yourself from hurt.
When connections are real, they simpy never die. They can be buried or ignored or walked away from, but never broken. If you’ve deeply resonated with another person or place, the connection remains despite any distance, time, situation, lack of presence, or circumstance. If you’re doubtful then just try it – go and revisit a person or place and see id there’s any sense at all of the space between now and then. If it was truly real, you’ll be in instantly swept back into the moment it was before it left – during the same year and place with the same wonder and hope, comfort and heartbeat. Real connections live on forever.