It took me years to understand what loving without conditions, or loving unconditionally, really meant. It takes a deep kind of honesty to really admit whether you love unconditionally, because for the most part, we don’t. And unfortunately we typically think loving with conditions makes us a “bad person”, so we don’t allow ourselves the space to really be honest with ourselves about how we do love, because no one wants to be a “bad person”! Loving unconditionally simply means we love no matter what. It means there is nothing someone could ever do to make us stop loving them. Now, this does not mean we are required to have a certain type of relationship to love unconditionally. Unconditional love isn’t tied to a type of relationship. You can love someone unconditionally as your spouse, but if that type of relationship stops working, and you go your separate routes, you can continue to love them unconditionally as a friend or human in general.
Loving unconditionally also doesn’t determine the style of the face-to-face interactions you have with someone. You can love someone unconditionally, but recognize that, in present time, interacting with them on a day-to-day basis, in person, via the phone, etc. isn’t serving you well and you can take steps to limit your interactions with them, and still love them unconditionally. Love is not bound by time or space. You do not need to be next to someone to love them unconditionally. Love is its own thing. It cannot be bound by any of our human rules or definitions. We can choose to accept or reject love, but love will continue to exist in the universe whether we give it permission to exist in our own lives or not. Loving unconditionally also doesn’t mean you’re in agreement with anything. You can love someone and still find their values, morals, or actions reprehensible in your world, because love doesn’t require agreement.
How many times do we cloak our desire for a person to be the change we need, or behave in ways that are more comfortable to us, in love? We tell ourselves we’re worried about our friend or family member and want them to feel better because we love them. And while we may love them, we aren’t truly loving them unconditionally when we want them to change so that we feel better about how they’re living. The more honest awareness is that we are attempting to take make ourselves feel better when we want someone to be happier, feel better, make healthier choices, or live in the way we think is right. The truth is we feel uncomfortable witnessing the choices and the outcomes someone we love is making. We don’t like seeing them suffer, hurt, struggle, or fall down. The experiences they’re creating make us uncomfortable or have to set boundaries we don’t like. We fear the pain we might experience if they come to harm or die. We want them to change so we don’t have to face the tough feelings we have around how we perceive their lives.
Loving unconditionally means giving the person you love the space to be where they are regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you. It means loving the person enough to trust that on a soul level they know what their path in this lifetime needs to look like in order to evolve as a soul, no matter how ugly it looks to you. Loving without conditions takes a lot of faith. It means really walking the walk of trusting in the divine, limitlessness of spirit, and a greater power. It means not seeing the people you love as a body and instead seeing them as eternal souls that will never die. This doesn’t mean you can’t reach out in love and compassion to help, or offer your flavor of wisdom. It doesn’t mean you can’t share how uncomfortable and hurtful you see their choices and the associated consequences. It doesn’t mean you can’t be angry or sad, or set boundaries. It certainly doesn’t mean you have to be in agreement with their truth or that you can’t express your judgment of their truth if that is what you need to do.
Loving without conditions simply means that you love them enough to let them find their own way even if you don’t like it. It means you love them enough to do your own work and look at what comes up when you experience their truth rubbing up against your own in a way that you don’t like. Most importantly it means loving yourself without conditions so that you can be honest with yourself about how you love others if loving unconditionally is something that is important to you!