What is Unconditional Love?
Love, Forever and Unconditional.
Love Can Do Your Head In
What Unconditional Love Might Feel Like
Unconditional love is the love a mother feels for her newborn. The fierce protective need that allows her to put her baby's needs above almost everything else. When she cuddles her newborn and caresses it with her eyes, the love she feels is immeasurable and a bond is forged for life....we hope.
Love is Blind.
Of course often, as the baby grows older, it will do things that may upset, disappoint, embarrass and hurt but usually they are all forgivable and the mother often feels she would love and forgive her child no matter what.
The same can apply to fathers of course, and if mum and dad are on the same page when it comes to parenting, then it can be a wonderful thing for the child's' development to know they can make mistakes in life and still be loved and made to feel worthy.
Love is Forgiving.
Unconditional love can be a beautiful thing to experience and I have known it from my own mother. Thank you mum for forgiving me for all the hurt I undoubtedly caused you when I, at sixteen entered into a relationship with a man ten years older.....and since now I have a daughter of my own I do remember thinking about her when she was sixteen and cringing at the thought of her having a relationship with a much older man. And mum thank you for still loving me when I fled with this same man who was on the run from the police, to another state and didn't contact you for months. That is an example of unconditional love and she never once said "I told you so".
Love is Boundless.
Unconditional love can also occur in families between brothers and sisters and in other close friendships. It knows no boundaries, it does not say "i will love you if....." it says I will love you even if...." and should never be confused with liking someone. You can love somebody and still not like them and the opposite applies as well, you can like them but not love them..confusing I know but if you stop and think about it, you will be able to relate to it.
Love Can Do Your Head In.
You probably have family members that you love with all your heart but you may not like them very much and that is okay. Unconditional love can be a little tricky in relation to the love/like issue. I think that it does require liking and loving someone regardless of what that person does.
Talking With Children
Explaining Love to Children
I remember a conversation with my daughter on the subject of conditional love. I was telling her why I loved her so much and that the love I had for her was unconditional. She asked what unconditional meant and so I explained it meant without conditions, without placing restrictions on love. I told her that no matter what she might have done or whatever she might do in the future, she could always rely on my love for her.
Love Can Sometimes Be Misplaced....
I then gave her an example. I told her a story of when I was growing up there had been a neighbor of ours who had been robbed of a large sum of money by her own brother who lived with her. She had never banked any of her money and instead had kept stashes of it around the house and even had a tin of money buried in the backyard. Anyway he had met some guy at the local hotel and the two of them had conspired to steal her money. They were eventually caught due to the mate having a big mouth and both went to jail. The sister made the long trip by bus every week to visit her brother in jail and allowed him back in her house after he was released. I remember mum asking her how could she possibly have anything more to do with him and she replied that no matter what he was still her brother and she loved him.
Or Taken For Granted
Unconditional love means standing by and supporting someone in the good and the bad times and it also should be the foundation of a good and strong marriage but, I now don't believe it really exists nor is it achievable for me.
Just When I Thought I Knew Everything About Love
Knowing Where to Draw the Line in the Sand.
I was under the assumption I knew what love and unconditional love was and I knew what it felt like, however I really doubt that for most of us who live with a code of ethics, it can be given freely to anyone. We all have our limits. Rules that we know we would never break, lines we would never cross. And we do expect others, especially in our circle of friends and family to abide by those laws. Some of my rules include never to treat animals cruelly. It really gets me going when I hear of the animal cruelty stories in the media. Another, is any abuse whatsoever on children. Can't tolerate it and I would not put up with anyone who thinks it is justified. Most people feel this way, you included I am sure.
When Someone You Love Crosses the Line.
Therefore, I now realize without a doubt that I could never again love anyone unconditionally. I have acknowledged that I have boundaries and limitations. I think, perhaps boundaries are necessary in respect to love. And I don't think I need to justify my reasoning apart from saying that I once was so much in love with a man that I believed I loved unconditionally. I even forgave him for having an affair and after a brief time apart we resumed our relationship, so I thought I had showed him my unconditional love for him...then I discovered he was abusing our daughter and out the window went that feeling of unconditional love. So I guess I never had it in the first place because he had crossed the line that I had unknowingly drawn. I had always had in place a line he was not to cross a condition on just how much my love strand could stretch and it could never include child abuse. They were my conditions and lets face it...most of us have them. I did love him with all my heart only so long as he never sexually abused our daughter and I believe that is fair and just on my part.
As for my daughter I know and trust her and love her beyond belief. I doubt she will ever cross the lines I have in place that might find me losing my love for her...and yes that does include animal and child abuse. But there again although my love for her is the strongest of all loves I can possibly feel, it has boundaries and conditions.
Animals Love You No Matter What!
Love is Still Confusing
I have witnessed unconditional love in other people and thought to myself, how could they? The lady who continually gets bashed night after night by her drunk husband and who still pleads she loves him? The child who is disciplined to the extreme and beaten for the slightest thing by his mother..still loves her and would not want to live without her? and what about the animals who love us unconditionally just for who we are regardless of how we might treat them.
But are these examples of real love anyway? I think I have only created more questions in regard to unconditional love that I have given answers for. Love remains confusing and probably feels different and unique to everyone. Whenever you feel lost and in need of guidance in love and heart matters read Corinthians 13.
According to Corinthians 13;
- Love is patient
- Love is kind
- Love does not envy
- Love does not boast
- Love is not proud
- Love is not rude
- Love is not self-seeking
- Love is not easily angered
- Love keeps no record of wrongs
- Love rejoices with the truth
- Love always protects
- Love always trusts
- Love always hopes
- Love always perseveres
Don't feel daunted by this seemingly ideal (and perhaps un-achievable) list of what love is. Don't compare your love to this list of attributes and feel that your love is not up to scratch.
As you go about you day be mindful of being patient and kind with others. Be aware of envious feelings, boasting, feeling proud and rude. Be conscious of times when you might be self-seeking and try to keep anger from damaging you relationships. Avoid keeping a list in your head of wrongs. Dare to face up to the truth. And enjoy the feelings of protection, trust and hope that enables love to persevere.
Love is Oxygen
So it really doesn't seem to matter if the love you have for another has conditions or not. It is up to you, your love represents what is important to you, what makes you happy. Love is like oxygen, you need it in order to thrive and be the best version of who you are meant to be. It increases your positive thoughts, motivation and general outlook on life. You can't help but smile when you know love. Love is, and always will be what most of us look for from birth to the grave. Love is, as the saying goes, where you find it. So if you haven't found it yet...don't stop looking