Unconditional Love – does it even exist?
For the last couple of days we have been talking about the unconditional love. You can hear about selfless love in almost every romantic song, movie or story. People talk about the true love all the time. Is it something real or maybe it’s just a myth that has nothing to do with an every day life? Should we believe in unconditional love? How can we find a perfect love?
All about true love…
To start with, think about the people you truly love. Do you love everything about them? Or maybe there is something that you just can’t accept? Would you love them if they keep hurting you every day and won’t be willing to change?
Loving someone unconditionally means accepting them with all their imperfections. Your feelings won’t change, no matter what they do. They will last forever. So is there such a thing as unconditional love?
To be honest, both me and Patryk don’t believe that there is a perfect love like that in this world. It is a divine feeling that is spotless and perfect. It’s what God is. No human can be so selfless. People don’t know how to love unconditionally. Even when you are sacrificing yourself, there must be something that you have from it. Some kind of profit. Even if it’s just a fear of being alone, there must be a benefit why you are loving a specific person.
What is the difference between love and unconditional love?
What is the true meaning of unconditional love? According to the definition of unconditional love, it’s an affection without any limits, with no expectations. It will never end. Whereas love is ‘just’ an intense feeling. It has the beginning and the end.
Ideally, all kinds of love should be unconditional but it’s not how the world works.
Is there really unconditional love? I believe that every love is unconditional at some point. That’s what is particularly happening at the beginning of almost every relationship. You don’t care what your new partner did wrong, what are his flaws, you just want to be with him.
When you are falling in love with somebody, you accept everything about this person. You only see what’s good about him or her. You don’t expect anything besides you to be together as often as possible. That’s wholehearted. As the time passes by, your feeling is less selfless and more conditional. You begin to have your expectations. Your perfect love is becoming conditional.
Can we love unconditionally?
Perfect love to your children
It is important to realize that we are loving our partners, children, friends or family members differently. Two months ago our daughter was born. Initially, I thought I loved her unconditionally. But when I took a closer look at this feeling, I see that there are specific things that I love about her. It’s her smile, her tiny body, her clever look and many more. I truly love her when she is crying but would I love her if she was crying all the time? Would I love her if she was unbearable? I have no idea if I would be able to give her my selfless love.
Don’t get me wrong- I know there are parents who take care of their sick children for their entire lives. If Mia was terminally ill, I would surely stay with her for a lifetime. But I think, at some point, I would have a thought about what would life be like without her. And for me, this one little thought is enough to state I can’t truly love her unconditionally. One single doubt, a second of reflection means I can’t always be selfless. Even though I’d try, I will always think about myself at some point.
Obviously, we need to distinguish feelings from the behaviors. All I am talking about is something that is (or would be) in my heart, not what I am doing. I would do everything for my child(ren) but I know I am just a human and there are things that I love about each person. Maybe I will never learn how to love unconditionally.
Romantic love to your partner
That means you are calculating if his/her features, behaviors and appearance are enough for you. Then, you make a conscious decision to be with this person everyday. It’s the choice you make based on what has happened it the past and what are your future plans.
If there is an unconditional love, there would be no divorces or break ups. You can’t just stop loving someone. If you think you do, it just means you didn’t even love this person in the first place.
Unconditional love has no boundaries and lasts forever. In my opinion, the only way to love unconditionally is to feel the same way to all the people in this world. No matter what the person does or looks like. If you pick a person to love, it means you do it for the specific reason. And this reason is always selfish and gives you some benefits. It’s never a selfless love.
I love Patryk because he is extremely intelligent, caring, funny, curious about the world, brave and handsome. Would I love him if he was boring, stupid, ugly and selfish? Probably not, even though I believe we have a perfect love and happy marriage.
True love to your pets
Selfless love doesn’t necessarily has to be associated with human beings. Some people love animals more than their family members.
I believe animals have a lot to teach us. Let’s take dogs for example. They really know how to love unconditionally. You can treat them badly, hit them, starve them and they will still be with you. They don’t expect anything but you to be there with them. That’s a true love.
Dogs are willing to do everything for their owners. There are so many stories about the pups who saved people’s lives. They do it for free, they don’t expect anything in return.
Can people be so selfless? I don’t think so.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that people who decide to stay in an unhappy and abusive marriage or relationship, make a huge mistake. Letting the other person hurt you means you are not loving YOURSELF unconditionally. Keep on reading to see that self-love is one of the most important things in live.
Selfless love to your parents
I am blessed enough to still have my grandmothers with me. One of them, Marysia, is one of the best people I know. She is kind, caring and wholehearted. Even though her parents died 40 years ago, she still cries every time she talks about them. She misses them a lot.
When she was young her dad got paralyzed. She took care of them even though she had 3 small kids and a farm to take care of.
She says that she only slept for 4 hours during these 10 months when her father was sick. He wasn’t the same person anymore. He wore nappies but sometimes he took them off only to smear his face with his own excrement. My grandma patiently cleaned him and didn’t stop taking care of him until he died. That’s a kind of selfless love that we are missing in this world. I am pretty sure though she won’t be able to take care of his dad forever and she would get frustrated at some point though.
I don’t judge people who move their parents to Senior Houses. There are so many reasons why it’s a good idea. But what my grandma did was unconditional and I really admire that.
God’s unconditional love
As can be seen at the beginning of this text, I think that only God’s unconditional love is real. You may replace the word God with Energy, Universe or anything else you believe in.
Human beings and the world itself is so incredibly beautiful and diversified, we are so blessed and gifted that there must be some kind of a Greater Power that loves us. There are many Bible verses about unconditional love. No matter if you are a believer or not, these sentences have some universal truth that we all need to follow in our lives.
As stated above, I believe people are only temporarily capable of selfless love. Then we become less selfless and more demanding. It’s in the human nature.
Loving people, especially those you don’t know
It’s easy to sacrifice for someone you love. But there’s nothing more beautiful than giving something disinterestedly to a complete stranger.
Charity, blood or bone marrow donations are the perfect examples of an unconditional love. They prove that true love doesn’t necessarily has to be romantic. You may do something beautiful to someone you don’t know. Such acts of selfless love make this world a better place.
I truly believe that the more you give, the more you receive. It’s impossible to permanently feel the unconditional love but we can work on prolonging these moments.
We are being fooled by the idea that in order to experience a perfect love, we need to find a partner. It’s incorrect! True love doesn’t come to you, it has to be inside you.
It can’t be said, only felt. We can experience it without being in a romantic relationship. The secret to happiness is helping others, it’s a perfect love.
Start with loving yourself unconditionally
If you want to be truly happy in life, start with trying to love yourself. The more unconditional this feeling is, the better for you. Don’t believe in a fairy tales and stories that you may hear in TV.
There are no princes charming or flawless princesses. We all have some defects. We all don’t know how to love unconditionally. If you want to built a real and strong relationship, determine what you want in your life. Think about yourself and then look for a partner who fits your needs.
There’s nothing wrong with being picky and assertive at the beginning- it’s your life we are talking about.
Tips on how to experience unconditional love:
1. Love yourself.
In order to experience unconditional love, you need to stay in touch with yourself. Accept your body, soul and your past. Be good and understanding to yourself. At the end of the day, there are no perfect people.
The more love you feel inside, the more you are getting from the outside. Remember, if you want to change something, start with yourself.
2. Let others love you.
Sometimes we have everything to experience selfless love but we don’t simply accept it. Take a closer look into your life. Are there any people that would do everything for you? Do you know any foundation or charity organization that help those in need? If you look at the world from the right perspective, you will notice that you are surrounded by the perfect love.
Let others love you, let them be good to you. Accept everything that they want to give you.
We are so busy all the time that sometimes we are unable to notice what we really feel. Calm your thoughts down by meditation.
Let yourself experience the selfless love inside you.
4. Worship and be grateful.
If you are a religious person that’s easy to do. Worship your God and be grateful for everything She or He is giving to you. If you are not a believer, you still can practice gratitude everyday. Thank for all the things that are happening in your life, repeat the positive affirmations (personally, I love those written by Louise Hay).
You may not see the result of thankfulness immediately but keep practicing it everyday. With time, you will start to feel the perfect love inside you.
5. Forgive to set yourself free.
We are all very fragile, it’s easy to hurt us. Life’s not a bed of roses, most of us have terrible memories. We experienced something really bad, either from strangers or (which is worse) from the people we love.
The clue to happiness and to experience an unconditional love is to forgive. I believe most people don’t really understand the meaning of this word. You don’t need to forget about your harm, all you need to do is to accept it and understand that you wouldn’t be the person you are today without this bad situation in the past. You can’t change the past but you can change the future.
By playing the bad situations all over again in your head, you are blocking the experience of perfect love in your heart.
6. Experience emotions.
No matter if they are positive or negative- experience all the emotions. Don’t push them away. Emotions, in contrary to feelings, don’t last too long. If you want to feel the unconditional love, you need to ‘clean’ your mind from everything that causes your restlessness.
Accept everything that is happening in your life and understand that it’s always temporary.
7. Be selfless.
Don’t expect anything from anyone. All it does is causing frustration. No one will ever be as you imagined. People are different, they have the right to act whatever they want. If you really want to change something, start with yourself.
All the happiness, the unconditional love is inside you. If you are getting nervous or disappointed, you are unable to experience the perfect love. Be selfless. If you want to give something, do it without expecting anything in return. Be good to others not to be rewarded afterwards, but to become a better person.
Unconditional love quotes
The subject of true love inspired poets and artists throughout the ages. There are hundreds of quotes about unconditional love but I chose those I find the most interesting.
“No, I do not want to be loved unconditionally. I want to be shown when I am treating you less than you deserve. I want you to leave if I ever start making you promises I do not see through. Love me for my flaws, yes, but don’t you dare ever allow them to hurt you.”
“The most memorable people in life will be the friends who loved you when you weren’t very lovable.”
“There must be a stronger foundation than mere friendship or sexual attraction. Unconditional love, agape love, will not be swayed by time or circumstances.”
If a dog can love us unconditionally, why can’t we love each other the same way?
“To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return.”
“The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.”
“Actual love, as in unconditional love, doesn’t mean you love everything about the person. It means you don’t need them to be different than they’re for you to be happy.”
“Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”
– Bob Marley
One does not walk into the forest and accuse the trees of being off-center. So why do we look at ourselves that way?
-Tao Te Ching by Laozi
“Once you learn to accept and love them for who they are, you subconsciously learn to love yourself unconditionally.”
“When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.”
“What it’s like to be a parent. It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.”
“Find a heart that will love you at your worst and arms that will hold you at your weakest.”
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
“Love me without restriction. Trust me without fear. Want me without demand. Accept me for who I am.”
“If someone is facing a difficult time, one of the kindest things you can do for him or her is to say, ‘I’m going to love you through this’.”
“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”
“As we grow older together, as we continue to change with age, there is one thing that will never change. I will always keep falling in love with you.”
“Because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.”