Wow, that is a big question. I think so many people have asked, answered it and even tried to give it but to me it remains a mystery. I think it will take a life time of learning to embrace this enigma.
You may have heard about unconditional love. What is that all about? Love without conditions. How does that work? Surely there must be some conditions. Otherwise how will you know what it actually is. My interpretation of love has changed over the years and in each case they all had conditions – the ones that I put around it … and ones that people tried to put around me … and succeeded. The conditions were based upon my feeble awareness of what love is meant to be. Socially constructed beliefs held from past experiences – even from the day I was born. Well not that I remember. It usually came in a story retold by a parent or relative. I added in my imaginative colours of bias then tried it on for size.
So what were the consequences, you may ask? How much time do you have? I would probably say you have your own story about application, consequences and readjustments. Mine are likely to be similar, or not. But I digress. Back to the love part. So, again, what is unconditional love? For me it is about acceptance, hope, connecting, restoring, forgiving, wisdom, honesty, faithfulness and trust. Some of the positive aspects of sharing your heart with someone can also be the ones that can hurt you. And again, how do we share our heart? Such a complex dichotomy.
Ok, for me to love, is for me to trust. This is hard because I have been hurt so many times. Not just by others but by my own silly choices. Trust takes time and builds after several attempts to follow through on words with the appropriate action. I know I’m not perfect so I don’t expect others to be perfect. I do however expect mutual respect for my uniqueness and for the other person’s uniqueness to be themselves – in all their rawness. However this is quite difficult as most of us are still on a journey to authenticity. So, we will hit some bumps on the way but hey, that are what shock absorbers are for – to ease the intensity of the potholes on the road.
I’ve just realised that I started with trust, which is that last word on my list above. Interesting because I think I have to have this before I can accept someone. Which, in writing that down, does not sit with me too well because we need to accept those we don’t trust. We do not have to be best friends with them, just accept them the way they are. Mmmm, I need to think on this one a little more. I might just finish here and ponder on acceptance and trust. This is not really how I anticipated to finish this, but, once again, hey, this is my blog and if I want to stop here then I jolly well will.
Til next time, self-care and sunshine (a lovely goodbye someone said to me today so I am passing it on).