I believe we have a superficial handle on what it means to have unconditional love. I know I’ve been guilty of it. In fact, while having a wrestling match with my 11 year old son a couple days ago I had a spark of understanding. I recognized it as a spark, recognizing that it was big, I meditated on it, and the following is what I discovered.

As we were wrestling (I was tickling him till he had to pee), Connor said to me, “If you don’t let me get to the safe zone, you don’t love me!” To which I quickly replied with, “My love for you isn’t dictated by the rules you make up in your head!” After the tickle war (admittedly a one-sided battle), I put him to bed and the marinating of that interaction began to creep in.

What my heart found is that one cannot judge the magnitude of another’s love based on the intellectual rules we’ve been conditioned to follow. Conditioned by society, influenced by religion, and family dynamic.

An action that (under the conditioned rules) might typically be considered (or judged) to be reprehensible or just simply rude, that may have very well undermined the dynamic of the relationship does not necessarily reflect some lack of love that person may have for you. It may be poor judgement, or the person is acting out of hurt or miscommunication. Should we judge the actor so quickly?

We’ve all been raised with certain fundamentals (our conditioning), all of which are bent by our upbringing and experiences. Thereby, each of us actually has a different standard, a different framework (there may also be a part of us that resists that conditioning). When we feel love, and we choose to commit to that person, if we are to love unconditionally, we must put aside the judgement of how we think they should act based on our own upbringing (and conditioning).

Transcending this conditioned framework set forth by what our minds have learned in this material world is an ideal, yet, an attainable goal. Only then could we truly love unconditionally.

This is not to condone someone causing pain, nor is it to invalidate the pain that someone feels when hard times come. Also, I don’t suggest that you let someone trample all over you either. There can however be a realization of love through acceptance which can help us recover from that pain. To forgive, without judgement. Even if we need to end a relationship (be it with family, friends, or lovers), to better serve our own growth, we can make it an act of love. Love for yourself (having the strength to do what is right for your journey), love for the other (giving them the space needed to understand their mistake). This is all easier said than done, but try it!

Remember, we are all human beings, and BEING HUMAN is a critical part of that equation. Nobody is perfect, and learning from mistakes is how we grow. Would you take that learning away from your loved one because your ego needs to hold a grudge? Are we so perfect that we’ve never hurt anyone? Can we hurt and always endeavor to forgive?

Be kind, pause, remember that you love (or loved) this person. Allow them the space to learn, allow them to grow…you may find yourself experiencing growth right along side them.

What experiences can you share that have brought greater peace in turbulent relationships?

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