Love is… #Unconditional #Journey #Divorce

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Love is…

If you were asked to write a few sentences on what you believe love to be, what would you write?

Would it have something to do with caring for the other person? What about being a loyal companion? Would your idea of love include a warm, fuzzy feeling?

There are many ideas of what love is and how it feels out there. I would guess that each person has a unique experience all their own.

However, something I am learning about love, what it is, how to love someone, is actually about myself. I am learning that I cannot love anyone the right way without loving myself first. It is about first accepting myself warts and all, as I am.

Loving myself doesn’t require me to “clean myself up,” or achieve some great accomplishment. Those things don’t make me “lovable.” Those things are conditions we put on ourselves and on others. It is about making someone earn or deserve our love. That isn’t really love.

Instead, love is about the essence of who we are. It is about our identity. Love is about our good qualities and our bad ones. It is about our achievements and our failures. Yes, we can grow and learn and “better” ourselves, but even if that never happens the way we’d like, we can still love ourselves without those qualifiers.

I am learning to love and accept myself.

Loving who I am is about being who I am too. It is about showing people the “real” me. It is about not hiding behind what someone wants me to be or thinks I should be.

When I can learn to love myself unconditionally, then I can truly love others the same way. As they are, without any strings attached, without any unrealistic expectations from me to change them into something they are not. I think this is where most relationships get twisted and fall apart. Instead of loving the person as they are, for who they are, we instead make an idealized image of who they can become, who we can make them be, and “love” that. When they don’t and can’t live up to that expectation, we try to make them into it by loving them based on how they meet that standard. When that person cannot live up to that idealized version of themselves, and don’t want to be that version, then things start to break down and the end is near.

How about taking a different approach? Understand who you are, understand your limitations, understand your flaws and failures, and then love yourself despite it all. Then, when you see another flawed, imperfect person with wonderful qualities and with downfalls, you can still love them unconditionally with eyes wide open to who they are, and without any unrealistic expectations.

In that atmosphere, relationships can thrive. People can know and be secure that you love them even when they fall on their face. If they can love you in return, you will have the same assurances of love.

It is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. It is something that takes both work and recognition. But the payoffs are huge. It will transform who you are and how you live and see the world around you.

– Jason

What do you think? Share your thoughts below.

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17 comments

  1. Very true.We can truly love others when we are happy from within and that only comes from self love.And the mask we put I front of others will wear off someday anyways.So it’s better to have few people who love us for who we really are than having many who live us for the person they think we are.
    Awesome post.Thanks for Sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t think we have to wait to be perfect to love someone. I loved a man, married him, had children with him… all as a flawed person who loved him best I could. But it was never good enough for him. He didn’t like himself, me, or anyone else. All he did was complain & criticize. Eventually I broke & couldn’t take it any longer. I did the right thing in getting away, but I waited too long and my children suffered for it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Some really great wisdom here! I finally started to learn this lesson a few years after my divorce. It’s been a long journey, but I’m happy with the results and happier with the person I am. It’s freeing to finally be able to be “me” without worrying about whether or not other people will accept the real me. I’m more secure in the friendships I now have because I know they like me for who I really am, not the person I’m pretending to be.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That word love is too broad of a term in my opinion.
    To extend love to another is to serve them regardless of who it is.

    To extend affection for hope of a return on that affection is love of another sort (relationship). Relationship love is conditional….it is wholly conditional on an agreed (sometimes unstated in friendships) covenant. It is traditionally the shared life-journey that two people declare shared values and goals. All love (service) expenditures in this covenant revolve around those values. That covenant is fulfilled when the chosen one is put first before all others (humans).
    To accept another’s “faults” and continue a relationship is the practice of patience, a component of love. Not all faults break the covenant, but some do….most notably…neglect, which when practiced habitually is tantamount to adultery.

    To see the world as created by God and thus needing our “love” is yet another love. It will require less, if any conditions. If we see an addict on the street and gawk repulsively, we are not practicing that social/moral benevolence we are instructed to practice by the almighty. If we look to help the addict, knowing that it may lead to nothing…then we are practicing the agape/agapao love that Jehovah gave us to emulate.

    Of course there are many nuances within these parameters.

    I have heard it said many times, “God loves us unconditionally”. This is true to certain extent, but if I was an unrepentant murderer I would not inherit the kingdom. He would mourn losing me, but the blessing of the kingdom would be lost for me by my own undoing. In this sense….in the sense of “reward”, love is absolutely conditional and covenant based.

    Peace to you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love is building a wall between people and banging our heads on it until we bleed to death is what i feel sometimes love is. But
    Love is also egalitarian. Doesn’t care about who we are . It is very much like poetry . It is more feeling and not so much knowing. Love is about attaining an unattainable dream . It always sets the bar higher than we can conquer even greater than what we can imagine.there is no middle no end no beginning , love is happening . Love isn’t magic. It is inevitable yet there is resolute irresolution about love. There is no escape . If there were there wouldn’t be evolution and i wouldn’t have been writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love is kind, never mean-spirited. Love lifts us up; it never tears us down. Love does not find pleasure or purpose in belittling someone else. To truly love is to find a healthy balance between ourselves and others’ needs and desires. Love should never leave us feeling less than we are. Too often people use the word “love” without really understanding what it means.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I agree that to love someone else you need to first love yourself. This is something I often saw when I worked with individuals who committed violence against their partners: a lack of self-care and self-love. Accepting and loving yourself is certainly a big step in having a healthy relationship, but what about having the self-awareness of your flaws in order to continue working on yourself to be a better person? I think we all have room for improvement!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It is interesting that before I was a Christian “Love” had a very different meaning to me. I thought I loved my ex-wife and would never have divorced her (she left me after 21 years) but I understand now that the love we shared was not the same as that I have with my wife of the past 13 years whom I met after my conversion. We love each other as your title notes, unconditionally. No matter if it is through the stupid times or that was amazing times we are stuck like glue. We have made it through the mac and cheese and through the steak and lobster times because our focus is on Christ first them each other then ourselves. I can tell you previously the order was reversed.

    Liked by 1 person

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