I have a man I admire who recently sent this email to me:
“If love is something that has to be earned or worked for in a relationship, then it’s not love. It’s extortion.” MS
Love that is “conditional” is not love. Only love that is “unconditional” is love. Conditional love is based on an insecurity. A codependency with others.
He told me of what he thought love was in his own family.
He attends church every Sunday with his wife and family. He doesn’t care for much of what goes on with the religion because as he put it, “I love Christ. Christ loves me. Religion seems to teach that Christ will only love me if I do or act a certain way. I know Christ. And the Christ I know loves me unconditionally.” But he attends because his wife is devout and wants to unconditionally support her and his son.
His son loves karate. He can’t stand karate. He goes to karate class with his son and wants him to be the best karate master ever. Or at least until his son changes his mind.
He doesn’t care if his son wants to play video games all day. As he said, “I just want him to be the best video game player ever. I’m going to teach my son to love himself for who he is by unconditionally loving him for who he is.”
He believes God loves him regardless of how he acts. That God would never turn his back on him even if he did the worse things. He learned unconditional love from God and is applying that in his life with those he cares for.
I’ve felt a kinship to him the first day I met him. I could tell he accepted me unconditionally and he didn’t even know me. He was authentic and shared openly what he believed. He’s vulnerable and meek.
Then he said the most profound lesson he had learned in life.
You can’t unconditionally love others unless you unconditionally love yourself.