Love itself is an abstract concept. If you asked a million people to define it, it would be explained in a million different ways. It may be described it as a feeling, behavior, expression, acceptance and awareness.
Conditional love is earned. It is love with rules and/or conditions; this is either done consciously or unconsciously. This type of love is ego-based and is either centered on someone or something. When it involves someone, we’ll call them the “Receiver”, it refers to how the Receiver matches a specific paradigm or perception the “Conditional Love Giver” has. In order to garner the Conditional Love Giver’s affection, the Receiver must meet all expectations. If they do, they are approved; if not, approval is withheld from the Receiver and oftentimes expressed in anger. To the Receiver, it may feel as if they are punished and/or love is being withheld. Ultimately, conditional love is more of a “power play” or control tactic, intended to increase the Conditional Love Giver’s power or influence.
On the other hand, unconditional love is given freely, no matter what. It is the ability to love and accept everyone, (including yourself), without rules or guidelines. It means both giving and receiving love, without expectations, such as the love we receive from our pets. It’s pure and genuine with no agenda.
Unconditional love is not something that happens outside of us; it originates from a place deep within our heart. This extraordinary love may be expressed in many ways, including respect, compassion and cooperation, to name a few.
Unconditional love recognizes that we all make mistakes, and understands a person is not defined by their behavior. An individual is offered love for who they are and how they were created. By sharing your own unique style of unconditional love with others, you are in essence gifting healing to everyone and everything you touch.
As with most “ah ha” moments in our lives, I now understand that the emotional abuse I suffered as a child was from a parent who was simply unable to love unconditionally. Perhaps he was never loved that way and didn’t know how.
How has this affected me personally? Profoundly…. I feel it has influenced many of the choices I’ve made, both good and bad. In fact, writing this blog has brought up numerous suppressed emotions for me, some I’ve yet to discern. However, for today, it is a defining moment on my journey of self-empowerment.