How to Love Unconditionally
In order to build a solid foundation in any relationship, whether it's a marriage, friendship or a relationship with a sibling or child, you must learn to love unconditionally without limits or judgment.
Loving someone unconditionally can be hard to do and goes against the grain you were probably taught in today's Western society. Society tells you to get even or get revenge. However, to love unconditionally requires forgiveness and letting go of the wrongs.
So How Do You Love Unconditionally?
What's required to show someone unconditional love when you're in a relationship? Being there physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, through thick and thin, no matter what may happen is unconditional love.
- Physically: Being “there” for someone physically means just what the word implies. You're there for them in person, standing by their side, listening to them, or talking with them so they're not alone. This may be at three in the afternoon, or three in the morning!
- Emotionally: When you're with someone emotionally, you're offering your support by allowing them to honestly and openly express their feeling. Supporting someone emotionally with unconditional love also means that you're there selflessly to help them work through their feelings. The goal is for the person to rise above the negative emotions and turn them into positive ones. You're the shoulder to cry on!
- Mentally: Supporting a loved one mentally means that you help them think through their actions, motives, and desires. You help them do this by finding out what's going on inside. To support someone mentally requires you to help your loved one process their thoughts through to all possible outcomes.
- Spiritually: Spiritually supporting a loved one means you pray for and with them and help them grow in all aspects of their life – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Often spiritual support is given without a person being aware, through prayer.
Unconditional love does not mean, however, giving into every whim or desire. Often people confuse unconditional love with spoiling. Giving into a person's every want or desire when it isn't appropriate can actually harm their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well being. For example, giving into your kid's demands for junk food may make them happy today, but it isn't a good source of nourishment in the long run.
True love is shown when you try to help another become a better person and unconditional love is shown when you still love them even if they refuse to change.
Many times it's necessary to “let go” of a loved one, while still loving them unconditionally, because they refuse to take the necessary steps to improve. An example of this would be an alcoholic or drug addict. You still love the person, but when they refuse to work at overcoming their addiction or don't care about themselves or who they're hurting, you must let go. Sometimes this means, letting them spiral down until they hit rock bottom. Often you get hurt in the process because you love them and don't want to see them go down this road, so loving unconditionally also means that you'll be there for them when they're ready to try again.
Love isn't an emotion or feeling – it's a choice. This is especially true with unconditional love. In relationships, you show unconditional love by overlooking petty mistakes and forgoing judgment and grudges. Unconditional love requires self-sacrifice and forgiveness on your part and it's through unconditional love that those you care about will change for the better.