Stay Connected : Unconditional Love

Unconditional – not conditional or limited. Love – strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.

Unconditional Love is like taking a walk in the woods. The sun is shining, its warm, but, not too warm. You can hear a stream flowing in the distance. The air is fresh, the trees are green and there is a gentle rustling of their leaves. You take a deep breath and take in all of the beauty and contentment that surrounds you. At that moment you love and appreciate all of Nature and all of her beauty.

Then the lightning flashes as the trees start to creak and sway back and forth in the winds. You run for cover. That is when I look around and say; “Really? You couldn’t wait till I got home?” The love of Nature is still there. You just didn’t care for her behavior (the storm) at that moment.

A love without limits for the people in our lives is similar. We love them. It just doesn’t necessarily mean accepting all their behaviors unconditionally. As family members, we have all learned that it is possible to love someone unconditionally but not tolerate their behavior. ‘I love you and will always want the best for you, but, as long as you are going to yell and swear at me, you are going to need to go to your room. You can come out when you are ready to talk.’ Sometimes we have to distance ourselves for a long time. The love is always there. The tolerance for their behavior is not.

We can actually be hurting those we love by always accepting or excusing their destructive behaviors: not sharing what we see or how we feel. It is also important to always remember to share the love we still have for them. ‘I love you. I just can’t watch you throw your life away.’ ‘I love you. I just don’t know how to help you through this. Let’s find someone who can.’

If at all possible, we need to leave room for those we love to get the help they need and change their behaviors (creating their new life path). Sometimes the pain that has happened is so great we don’t know if we can ever let it go. We lock all doors and refuse all communication. Sometimes we need to find help too. Help to move on and forgive. Help to once again express the love we still carry buried deep in our hearts.

Unconditional love for our self is not different: To be able to forgive our mistakes (our behaviors and choices) and get the help we need to walk that new path and to be able to weather life’s storms.