More unconditional love…

Posted by Samantha on June 13, 2011 in Love |

The only love worthy of a name is unconditional.

John Powell, British composer (b.1963)


I once had a discussion with my mother when I tried to tell her that she loved me conditionally.  She disputed that.  She was adamant that she loved me unconditionally.

In our hearts we all love our children unconditionally.  In the stillness of the night as we watch them sleeping we connect with that unfathomable love we feel for them.  We would do anything to take away their pain.  We love them as we never knew it was possible to love.

This is the kind of love that transcends all barriers, that surmounts all difficulties, that prevails in all circumstances.

This is the love that we feel when we’re connected to ourselves and to our children.

This is not how we usually feel when we’re just home from work and the house is cold and the dinner is late and the kitchen is full of the dirty dishes from breakfast and the kids are squabbling and your colleague’s hurtful words are still ringing in your ears.

When we communicate with our children from this place of fear and worry and sadness and anger they pick up the message that we don’t love them unconditionally.  In these moments – through no fault of our own – we forget how much we love our children and the unconditional nature of that love.  This is when we behave as though our love for our children is contingent on their silence or their cooperation or their disappearing upstairs and not bothering us!

Today when I think back to the time that I tried to convince my mother that she had not loved me unconditionally I understand what I meant.  I meant that I had not FELT as though she loved me unconditionally when I was a child.

And today I also understand what she meant when she replied that she absolutely HAD and DID love me unconditionally.  She meant that she felt this deep unconditional love for me way down inside her.  She meant that because she was human, she often behaved in ways that weren’t perfect.  But that when push came to shove, she loved me unconditionally even if she didn’t always behave like that.

No-one achieves that kind of complete unconditional love of their children all the time.  Fortunately it’s not necessary to manage it all the time.  Children have been equipped with a capacity for forgiving their parents that transcends all understanding.  Your children will overlook your many failings and still think that you’re the best mother or father in the world.  You are THEIR mother or father.  And that is all that matters to them.

Seek to give them as much unconditional love as they give you.  Learn from them the art of being gracious and forgiving quickly.  If you do this they will grow up and move away from you.  But they will never need to reject you and they will never need to rebel.



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