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Unconditional Love


Perhaps no other positive action by one individual towards another has the profound impact of Unconditional Love. In order to understand Unconditional Love, one must know what love means. According to the dictionary love with regard to people is: a deep, tender, indescribable feeling of affection, care and concern, such as that arising from kinship; a feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance; an intense emotional attachment. Poets, songwriters and artists have tried to capture the essence of the word for as long as humankind has been in existence. Everyone thinks they know what it means, but no one can exactly express it.

So how, then, do we explain Unconditional Love, and how do we impart it? Whether in a paired relationship or as a parent, the love of another, with no strings attached, is the nucleus of a healthy relationship. It provides a foundation and security upon which all other components of the relationship may successfully be constructed. It equips the other person with a springboard to attain and achieve without fear of failure and rejection. Expressed toward another or as a parent, “I love you because of who you are, not what you do, what you’ve achieved, or how successful you’ve been in a particular endeavor,” should be the cornerstone of every relationship. It is one of the elements that produce emotionally healthy. As a parent, it sets the model to follow.

Children raised with Unconditional Love have the self-confidence to take risks because at their core, they know they are loved and are okay. They don’t have to spend time trying to gain the love of their parents, which sometimes extends well into adulthood. They grow into adults who are capable of giving Unconditional Love. Conversely, much of we affectionately call neurosis can probably be linked to conditional acceptance of another person – conditional love. “I’ll love you if …”

Too many people withhold love because they are displeased with a particular action of another. Love is used as a reward, and the withholding of love is used as a punishment. In extreme cases this winds up producing people who will do literally anything to be loved because they were never provided with Unconditional Love.

Examine your relationships, whether they be with a partner or with children. Do you provide Unconditional Love, or does your love come with many qualifying conditions in fine print? If you’re with a partner, does your partner provide you with Unconditional Love? Much of couples’ therapy is about providing a stronger foundation for the relationship through Unconditional Love.

Do you contribute or detract from the emotional well-being of those closest to you? If you haven’t already, learn to give Unconditional Love. The powerful results just may surprise you.

Until next time, this is Dr. Andrew telling you to “Be kind to yourself.”

Tikkun Olam- heal the world. Leave it a better place when you leave.

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