Monday, September 21, 2009
Love Without Limits
Unconditional love. Loving someone without placing conditions on how you will give that love. Giving it freely in spite of imperfections in the person you give it to. Not love that says I'll love you if you change. And of course the reverse - receiving love unconditionally, without placing restrictions on how you will accept the love. Simply allowing someone to love you, in spite of your flaws, and in spite of any flaws the giver may also possess.
Loving another without limits changes throughout our lives I think. As children we love freely and give our love and adoration to those around us. We don't demand that our parents treat us better in order to have our love, children just love. As we grow things change, we make friends as we move out into the world. We find significant others in time, and perhaps later we have children. Love relationships do change and grow and evolve over time. A once close relationship grows more distant, and vice versa, depending on our needs and where we are in life.
Of course, I doubt I'll ever find anything to match the unconditional love that my dog had for me. He truly adored me and everything about me. As far as he was concerned I was perfect. Even when I got mad and yelled at him, or didn't take him for a walk, or stayed away from home too long. He was always sooooo excited to see me and loved me soooo much. He absolutely HATED being separated or away from me. No matter how bad I had been he loved me absolutely.
Yet how much more powerful it is when we are loved unconditionally by a person who is aware of our faults and weaknesses and flaws and still chooses to love us. That kind of love isn't often flowery and giggly. Instead it's the realistic eyes open love that says "I love you even though I don't love a behavior of yours. I love you without you having to be different or perform. I love the essence of you."
Both giving and receiving love without limits is humbling. It is large and full and expansive. And when that love is goes away, as in the case of a death, we feel the loss and lack keenly. There is a smallness and emptiness where there used to be fullness. We lose our security.
Loving and being loved without limits allows me to face the world and stand strong. I have the courage to meet challenges because there are people who love me in spite of my negative behaviors (and whom I love in spite of theirs.) Being accepted as we are gives us the ability to step into the light and embrace it, while allowing us to confront the darkness and overcome it. Sure, we want our loved ones to grow, improve, and change negatives into positives for their own well-being, but those negatives don't stop us from loving them.
This topic has made the rounds lately here in blogland and I wanted to mull it over because I believe it to be one of the most profound things we as humans allow into our lives. Allowing ourselves to give love without placing conditions on those we love is so important. In order to reach our full potential, to learn tolerance, and acceptance we need to give love without limits. But receiving love without limits is just as important. In order to have a sense of security and safety, to be a confident and complete person we need to accept that love.
Both sides of loving without limits are important. We cant give to others effectively if we aren't willing or able to receive. Likewise, we cannot accept this love effectively if we aren't willing to extend it as well. Giving and receiving are intertwined, 2 sides of the same coin as it were. If we have problems with either side, there's something amiss which needs to be addressed if we are to ever flourish emotionally.
And I feel like there's still so much more I'm trying to convey, more that I want to communicate about this topic and how I bring the concept more fully into my life. But I'm to the point where more words are not helpful. I guess it boils down to needing to love and be loved with no limits and restrictions in order to be fully who I am meant to be.
Of course I could just get a dog, it's the next best thing. ;)