[amazon template=image&asin=0985781408]I finished reading What It Looks Like by Marta Maranda in April, and have shared some of her ideas that I found helpful. Today, I am sharing some of her thoughts on unconditional love.
But the chance is far greater that you’ll find someone who will insist that you “take me as I am,” rather than “take me as I am right now…”
More often than not, when one speaks of unconditional love it has nothing to do with how he feels about you, but how he wants you to feel about him and the dysfunctions he has no desire to heal. However, unconditional love does not mean unconditional acceptance. While you can feel compassion for one’s trauma and pain, you cannot accept dysfunctional ways of suppressing or managing them. If you do, you are not loving unconditionally. You are enabling.
Unconditional love also includes unconditionally loving oneself. It means I will no longer consciously expose myself to or remain in the presence of dysfunctional speech and behavior…
Love is unconditional, but a relationship is reciprocal.
I especially appreciate Maranda’s distinction between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance. Has no one ever pointed that out to me before? Was I just not paying attention? (I think this distinction was probably what my mother was trying to get at when she would say, “I always love your father, but I don’t always like your father.”)
So what I need to learn how to say (or at least think, as I remove myself from a situation) is, “I love you no matter what, but I’m not going to accept your no-good behavior.”
I also appreciate the distinction between “take me as I am,” and “take me as I am right now.” I see it as a difference between thinking “I’m fucked up and there’s nothing I can do about it” and “I’m fucked up, but I’m working on getting better.” Seems like many people I meet have just accepted that they are emotionally and mentally a hot mess. I honestly want to be a better person than I currently am. That’s going to take work.