What Does “Unconditional Love” Really Mean?Nov 30, 2023
I recently asked you guys to share your biggest self love challenges with me on Instagram.
One of the topics that came out of this discussion was how to improve your overall mental health and well-being. Specifically, how to love yourself unconditionally.
So I decided to create a short video series for you guys on this topic and this video is on ‘what unconditionally love really means.’
In order for you to improve your relationship with yourself and others it’s important that you understand the following:
Loving yourself or anyone else unconditionally is about letting go of expectations. Unconditionally loving yourself and other is about giving compassion, kindness, love and affection freely, “no matter what.”
Now let me make sure that I’m being clear, because I don’t want anyone watching this video to think that what I’m saying is that you need to put up with bad behavior.
In fact, I created a video on setting healthy boundaries intended to help people who are struggling with just that.
Altruism is beautiful, but I do believe in fairness and reciprocity, so I’m not saying that you should by any means become the martyr in any relationship, including the one you have with yourself.
What I’m saying is that when we love with conditions, we consciously or often times subconsciously make an agreement that our love has to be earned, when in reality what should be earned is your time and energy, but our compassion, our ability to be kind to ourselves and others should be infinite and measureless.
You’re probably like, what the hell does that even mean? So, I’m going to explain.
Unconditional love separates individuals from their behaviors, it’s about caring about your well-being and the well-being of others, and putting that first without expectations.
Unconditional love is, ‘when we make really bad choices in our lives’ that leads to pain and disappointment but choose to forgive ourselves and practice compassion with ourselves anyways.
It’s when your partner does something really stupid to sabotage your relationship and you make a choice to extend your kindness and understanding rather than condemning them for their poor behavior.
Now, again, I’m not asking you to be a people pleaser and put up with bad behavior, because in that instance you’re not practicing conditional love for yourself.
But withholding emotions because we expect something of ourselves or others in return is bartering for love when what we really need not learn how to do is set boundaries.
It’s not enabling, it’s not being a pushover. It’s about seeing love as an act of compassion and generosity instead of something that should only be given when we receive something in return.
It’s about shifting your mindset from “I only offer love when someone is worthy of it” based on their actions, to “I am always willing to offer love and compassion, but I value my time and effort.”
Becoming aware and awakened enough in your relationships to look past the behavior and try to understand where that behavior is coming from.
So, let’s use romantic love as an example:
In my experience, people who struggle with self-love often take out their frustrations on the people they love or think they love, the most.
Let’s say you’re in a relationship with someone who is constantly taking out their frustrations on you. (Now, again I’m not talking about an extreme domestic violence case here okay). I need you to use your discernment when I’m giving you advice.
I’m talking about the person who has a bad day at work, they come home, now their bringing all of that baggage home to you and it’s manifesting as nitpicking over dinner, the mess that the kids left in the living room, I don’t know whatever it is that they are bitching to you about…
Now when this happens, you have two choices. One is going to fall in the unconditional love bucket, the other is going to fall in the conditional love bucket. And the crazy thing is that because most of the love that we have all experienced growing up was conditional “I love you if, or because you do this and that." We don’t know how to tell the difference. But that’s probably another video for another day because I don’t want to make this too long.
The unconditional love approach encourages you to react from a place of understanding. The ultimate goal is preserving the connection that you have with yourself and the other person.
It’s about having the uncomfortable conversations and facing the uncomfortable challenges with kind communication so that you both can become more aware of what creates unnecessary conflict and drama and create deeper bonds in your relationship.
This is an approach that empowers you to rise above the conflict. The conditional love approach is vindictive, spiteful, everything that the unconditional love approach is not.
It’s that attitude of “oh yeah, I’ll show them.” Some examples include: silent treatments, leaving the house and turning off your phone on your partner, withholding affection and communication to prove something to your partner, the list goes on and on right but I think you know what I mean.
The point I’m trying to make is that there is no ego in unconditional love, there is only acceptance. Because the goal is always to prevent harm to yourself and others. And sometimes, the greatest act of unconditional love is walking away. Releasing the people, places, habits and behaviors that are not supportive to your personal growth.
Struggling with self-love and setting boundaries in your relationships? Schedule a Free Breakthrough Session.