Yesterday’s post talked about people being who they are and doing what they do and suggested that the better you know people, the more you will understand them and expect them to be who you know they are and do what you know they do. Now, the question to consider is whether you can know who they are and love them anyway.
People talk a lot about unconditional love but sometimes I wind up wondering if they know what that is. Unconditional love means love without having any conditions attached. If you love someone because he’s handsome, that’s a condition. Will you still love him if he becomes disfigured? If you love someone but want her to change a habit you don’t like, that’s a condition. Unconditional love sees the habit and loves anyway. In fact sees the habit and loves because the habit or behavior is part of who the loved one is.
If you love someone because “he’s so kind”, that’s a condition. If you love someone but want them to be healthier, cleaner, thriftier, more attentive, more successful or [fill in the blank for the aspect you don’t like], that’s conditional. If you’re in a relationship in which you feel the other person must change to suit you, you don’t unconditionally love that person.
At some point when people keep telling me they truly feel they can’t be happy with a friend or love being exactly who s/he is, I start asking “why are you in the relationship?” I don’t understand staying in a relationship in which you’re making both of you miserable; it’s not pleasant for the other person to hear all the time that she’s wrong or bad and needs to change and if you’re expressing that kind of unhappiness all the time you’re making yourself miserable too.
Once you learn to know who everyone is, things get easier because you know what they’re going to do. When you learn to know who they are and to love them for all of it, that’s where the joy is.
If you can enter your holiday gatherings knowing who they all are and what they do and find it in your heart to love them anyway, it will change your experience. Enjoy!