I've had a lot of time to listen to people talk about love lately, I'm not sure why...maybe just because its on my mind more lately. Anyway I'm going to ask my readers who happen to also be parents to weigh in on this because thats where most of the thoughts come from and are directly apply back to.
As I've been thinking about love specifically unconditional love. I often have a hard time wrapping my head around this thought. Can you really love some no matter what they do, in-spite of their actions? As I would turn these thoughts over and over in my head I thought about examples of this unconditional brand of love, of course the two examples I end up looking closely at are the Love of God and Parental love. (Neither of which I can fully grasp although I'm beyond grateful to receive them both.)As I thought more about this love and about how I interacted with them I realized that my hang up was not because of Love but what I associated with it...how believed they were shown.I always associated love with two things, happiness and approval. I thought when you loved something then that thing always had to make you happy. To love something you had to approve of it.
Here are the problems with that. A) Love to be based on approval puts conditions on it. Approval is ultimate judgment when you approve than you pass a judgment that is favorable and disapproval is of course the opposite. B)What the heck is happiness. The more I look at it the more it becomes...fluff. Happiness is like the boy band crazy of the 90's attractive and powerful but ultimately...well lets just ask a where are they now question. If we allow happiness to determine love then we are left with "love" that is basically bubble gum good for a little bit but then its spit out and a new piece is inserted.
That brings us back to unconditional love. Its is something that is rooted in the giver. Something rooted in identity. I'm loved not because of my actions, thankfully, but because some one chooses to love me because of who I am to them. I seek to make happy and to find approval from those that love me. Its nice to have those things in order.