How to Love Unconditionally and Stay Sane

After two painful divorces, I learned several valuable
lessons about love and marriage that I was sharing with a
friend awhile back. You may be reluctant to take
relationship advice from someone who’s on her third
marriage, so take what I’ve learned with a grain of salt. But
I wish someone had taught me these lessons years ago.
13 Things I’ve Learned About Unconditional Love
1. Unconditional love is epic. You can’t earn it. You don’t get
to choose who receives it. It goes beyond all logic and
exceeds your ability to understand it. It just is.
2. Unconditional love doesn’t just apply to romance. While
you may love your partner unconditionally, you may also
unconditionally love your parent, your child, your best
friend, or your ex-lover.
3. Unconditional love doesn’t always make sense. You may
unconditionally love your abusive, alcoholic mother or the
brother who molested you or the husband who betrayed
you. You may have every reason on earth to hate someone,
but you love them anyway. That’s how unconditional love
works.
4. Unconditional love is boundless. By definition, there are no
conditions on unconditional love. It is a gift someone
doesn’t have to earn. It’s Divine love. It’s a form of grace.
The person you love could become a drug dealer, form a
prostitution ring, molest a child, and then kill someone –
and you might not like what they’ve done, but you will still
love them.
5. You can love the person unconditionally and still hate the
behavior. The person you love unconditionally may
disappoint you in a thousand ways. But when you love
unconditionally, you can separate the behavior from the
person, rejecting the behavior without rejecting the person.
6. Loving someone unconditionally doesn’t mean being a
doormat. Even if you love someone with this kind of epic
love, you don’t have to tolerate bad behavior. If he cheats,
it’s okay to leave. If he hits you, it’s okay to separate. If she
tears you apart every time, you don’t have to keep going
home. You can love unconditionally and still set
boundaries.
7. Unconditional love doesn’t mean staying when you’re
unhappy or unfulfilled. Sometimes we unconditionally love
a partner who isn’t meeting our needs. Maybe your partner
doesn’t feed your soul, squelches your creative potential,
and threatens to hold you back from living out your calling
and reaching for your dreams. As much as having
unconditional love for someone can enrich a relationship,
the presence of unconditional love doesn’t mean settling for
less than you truly desire in life. Sometimes it’s time to
move on – and that’s okay. It doesn’t weaken the love or
mean you’re a bad person. You can leave, and even if you
break someone’s heart, you can still love that person
unconditionally.
8. We enter into sacred contracts with those we love
unconditionally. We are here on earth with those we love
unconditionally in agreement to help each other grow. To
complete our assignments, we face challenges together.
How we navigate these challenges is part of what we’re
here on earth to learn.
9. Unconditional love relishes the individuality of another
being. When you love unconditionally, you love someone
for who they really are – not who you want them to be.
When you love someone unconditionally, you encourage
authenticity. You celebrate diversity and non-conformity,
you agree to disagree, you encourage debate, and you
don’t take it personally. You stop faking it with each other.
You give that person permission to live and speak his or
her truth, even if you don’t agree with what he or she
believes.
10. Unconditional love may not be reciprocated. Every
individual has a different capacity for opening their heart.
You may be more gifted in loving with an open heart than
the person you love unconditionally. It’s not personal. Be
grateful that you have this capacity to love, and try not to
take it personally if the person you love isn’t able to return
the epic love you have. If your love isn’t reciprocated, don’t
let it keep you from opening your heart to others. As much
as it can hurt to have your unconditional love
unreciprocated, you have to give people permission to
break your heart in order to experience the blessings of
being loved unconditionally by others.
11. Unconditional love never ends, even if the relationship is
over. By its very definition, unconditional love is not
conditional. The love can go on beyond when a relationship
ends. You can love someone unconditionally who you
haven’t seen in twenty years. Unconditional love can even
continue after the person you love dies. This kind of love
never ends.
12. Unconditional love is worth the risk. When you give your
heart away fully to someone, you assume risk. Someone
could hurt you. You’re saddled with a love that will never
end. It can be scary and painful and exhausting to love
unconditionally. But dare I say that this is the meaning of
life – to learn to love unconditionally and be loved in
return? Yes, that’s what I believe.
13. To love unconditionally is divine. When we love
unconditionally, we channel the kind of love the Divine has
for us and become vessels of healing, nurturing, and
connection.
It’s such a fine balance. One of my wise clients said, “Love
that requires you to compromise your integrity, your values,
or your healing isn’t, ultimately, love.” Or is it? Maybe
people who demand that you compromise your integrity,
your values, or your healing shouldn’t be allowed to
influence you, and if you can’t set those boundaries and still
have them in your life, perhaps you need to take a break
from them.
But is it not love? I’m not sure. I guess I think you can still
love someone who asks you to compromise. The difference
is that you don’t have to acquiesce to anyone’s demands,
even if you love them unconditionally.
Do You Love Someone Unconditionally?
Tell us your triumphs, your challenges, your feelings, and
your stories.

Unconditionally yours,
LISSA RANKIN,
MD: Founder of http://www.OwningPink.com, Pink
Medicine Revolutionary, motivational speaker, and author
of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your
Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art:
The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

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