It is taken me years to truly grasp the significance and meaning of true, unconditional love. Logically, I can understand the concept, but internally I’ve struggled emotionally to connect the two.I’ve been unable to accept it, yet I can give it freely, always able to forgive those who never really demonstrated that love for me in the moments i needed them most.
I don’t believe in the saying “If you can’t love yourself, you cant love anyone else” It simply isn’t true. I’m a living testament to the opposite of that quote. I’ve loved monsters before, and all it did was destroy me, never diminishing the unconditional love I had specifically for each of them. To me, love is a choice a person must choose to make daily. Love is a continuous sacrificial gift. It is a constant labor of love.
It’s strange to feel as though, I’m giving something, that I feel has always been denied to me. Because i know how love is, i know it does not have conditions or restrictions. Love is not based on how I act, the choices I make, or don’t make. Love is not based on how I look, dress or behave. Love is not based on who I choose to love and have relationships with, or those I choose to put behind me. Love is not supposed to be painful and ridden with lies. Love is not remembering every mistake I’ve ever made, and rubbing it in my face when I’m at my lowest point. Love is not about keeping score continually, forcing me to prove myself, unwilling to see my value or worth, over and over again.
Love is not controlling, demanding, selfish, unforgiving or proud. Love is not holding things over my head with expectations. Love is not manipulation or shaming. Love is not based on the career I choose, or the car I drive. Love is not speaking poorly behind my back, then turning around and smiling in my face.
Love is not self-seeking or self-righteous. Love is not hypocritical or cruel. Love is never vicious or mean. Love does not retaliate or negotiate. Love does not hold grudges or hinder growth. Love does not find happiness and discord in wrongdoing. Love does not speak unkind words, only meant to harm and wound others.
Love does not hesitate to act or react in loving ways. Love is not speaking down to someone or condemning them for not being as you would have them. Love does not critique or put down. Love never has malicious intent. Love is not punching walls and throwing things. Love is not pushing and screaming. Love is not ignoring someone, because they’ve done something you didn’t like.
Love doesn’t keep tally of wrongs and mistakes. Love is not isolating, destructive, abusive or consistently walking on egg shells. Love is not abandoning someone when they need you most. Love is never mean spirited or thoughtless.
Love is not being unfaithful and being a keeper of secrets and lies of ommission. Love does not manipulate or contradict itself. Love does not condescend or apprehend when someone is lost. Love is never convenient, controlling or possessive. Love is not based on obligation, but given freely as a choice everyday in every way. Love is also not about covering your insecurities with vapid relationships,only meant to distract your from your pain.
Love is not based on my relationship with God or whether or not I attend a church religiously. Love is not impatient and easily angered. Love despises sickness and untruths. Love is not withholding affection because one is angry with another. Love isn’t leaving words unspoken that could give life. Love can never bloom from words of hatred and death. Love does not have double standards, or place people into little categories. Love does not discriminate based on sex preference, color, race, sexuality, or background. Love does not delight in unfairness and lies of omission. Love is not neglectful. Love is not a war. Love is not a simple word, but a mentality, a lifestyle, a daily decision from an open giving heart.
For a long time many of these negative connotations about love have been what I have associated the word and emotion with. Love has been unpredictable, abusive, unkind, even though I did and acted in the opposite of how I was treated, I still continued to love unconditionally with every part of my heart and soul. I didn’t know the sort of love I gave existed until I opened my eyes, and heart and tears, – the truth that others have spoken to me have shown me what love is and has breathed life back into my empty Soul. Their love has given me back my wings and lifted me from the dark pit I was held captive in. In my sin, drunkenness, my confusion, and disarray, they called me special, beautiful and full of purpose. They loved me and continue to love me even though I struggle to find ways to truly love myself. They’ve shown me God through their understanding and grace. It is a love I feel as though I don’t deserve and will never be able to fully repay. Sometimes you can know something completely, and yet be totally unaffected by it emotionally. You can know you are loved and never feel one ounce of it. You can be told you’re beautiful, but never have someone really make you feel beautiful. Sometimes words are not enough, and where they fail to communicate that, love is what steps in and acts.
I know who loves me unconditionally, but what I need is to feel that love everyday and every way. Maybe this makes me sound needy or pathetic in some way, but I really don’t care. Not anymore. I don’t want the love others have claimed to have for me. I want to feel the genuine love others can show me. Words are everything to me but without actions to solidify them, your love is not real. I know I’m a lot to handle at times, sometimes I make it difficult to understand me and there are so many things that have made me into Who I am that are hard to take in all at once. But one thing I can promise you, is that if I do love you, no one will ever be able to love you the way that I love you. No one will give you more or praise you the way I know I only can. My love has no regard for situations, Pasts, conditions or boundaries. I will love you in the good and in the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, the old and the new. I will love you wholly, unconditionally, you will feel that every day that passes by. Because to love unconditionally is one of my greatest gifts and today I choose to acknowledge and embrace that gift and no longer refer to it as my lifelong curse. I choose to take pride in the fact that I have a heart that is so resilient and ready to forgive, and love others the way that they need most. Love is not what Ive experienced or known in the past. Today moving forward I will be the love I have always thought and dreamt of as a child. I will be the love I have always needed. I will be that love that conquers all.