What's up with Unconditional Love?
By Sam Stevens
To tell you the truth, I'm a little disillusioned with the term unconditional love, lately. It's just not "natural". The phrase has been used for decades, by psychologists, therapists, A.A. types and the overall spiritually minded to describe how one should cope with impossible behavior." The original principle behind the concept, was to help the person who is being abused accept the circumstances and not have to live in a perpetual state of resentment towards their partner. You, as the
codependent (ie the one who is always hurt) is supposed to see your partner as "sick" and not blame him or her for their actions. You're supposed to love and care for the adulterer, batterer, gambler, manic depressive or alcoholic the same way you would someone who has the flu. Husband comes home drunk? Sober him up with cups of black coffee and a dose of your eternally burning, unconditional love. Boyfriend unfaithful? That's O.k., because you have unconditional love for him that will last for an eternity. Girlfriends rack up your credit cards again with her compulsive shopping? You'll take care of the bills because you're love for her is undying and unconditional and you've told yourself "I'll always love her no matter what...."
Those of us who have been there know that we can only comfort ourselves with the concept of unconditional love for so long until the relationship becomes too expensive, emotionally, socially and financially. This is often more serious then the kind of consequences we pay when someone is sick with "the flu." Plus lately, after talking to many clients, many of whom are still paying in one way or another for the irresponsible behavior of a full grown adult, I am starting to conclude that when the person with the "ism" or "recently diagnosed personality disorder" is on to us then out comes the term unconditional love. If we say no or object to the behavior, he or she can always turn around and go "but I thought you said your love was me was
unconditional!!!" This puts us on the defense because it implies that we are the ones who are unloving and unlovable. I think the appropriate response is "well then why don't you go out and find someone who will agree to co-sign your B.S.!!'" If they're A.A. trained they'll probably snap back with "that's what you get for having expectations or preferences of me...you know I'm sick!"
I think love is conditional. One of those conditions is "trust." If you have unconditional love for someone, it is implicit you don't trust them, especially if you've condemned yourself to a lifetime of loving him or her "no matter what." Love is a natural thing, like a flower, that one should expect to bloom and its o.k. to be disappointed if it doesn't. The nature of love is to grow, compound and multiply and not destroy. The next time you fall in love, put terms and conditions on it and demand a 200% return on your investment. It's your precious energy!
About the Author
Sam Steven's metaphysical articles have been published in many high-standing newspapers and she has published several books. Currently she is studying technology's impact on the metaphysics.
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