Unconditional Love Is...

By , , , , ,

Relationship Expert: Unconditional Love
Limitless love can be a lot of things. We asked our trusted experts what it means to them.

We all want it, but unconditional love can be hard to define. Here, our experts share heartwarming examples and opinions on what this beautiful gift is really all about. Remember these anecdotes, tips and ideas whenever you're feeling low, and know that the best love of all — unconditional love — can sustain you:

Cecil Wong:
Love is about desire. We fail to experience unconditional love (either giving or receiving) because we all have desires that compete with unconditional love. When the competition wins, we lose. But if or when real love overcomes, we all win. If the heart is pure (singular in desire), unconditional love will flow. So it really depends on the source — not only the localized source of our own hearts but we need to consider the more global or even universal source — God! The source of this love must be a heart that is absolutely, incorruptibly pure. We must acknowledge that we are not that source. We must abide in that source. 

How can we define unconditional love? I can get hurt and still do the loving thing. I can even die in the process but not be an agent of hatred and retribution. I'm not talking about tolerating abuse but rather, managing pain with wisdom and humility. It's feeling the injury and not running in shame and fear or going wacko and acting out of hostility and violence. To love unconditionally is not letting fear, shame, anger, resentment, disappointment, dissatisfaction, loneliness, conflict, etc. get in the way of us being patient, kind, unselfish, forgiving, hopeful, honest, and respectful. Above all, it never gives up in the battle to do what is truly right. Loving unconditionally is incredibly awesome and worthy of all our aspirations and efforts. It is the goal of true freedom. Love that is so complete and mature involves the multifaceted struggles for feeling strong, secure, and significant. The fight to believe we ourselves are worthy of love and acceptance, even in the midst of pain and hurt, should direct us towards the larger transcendent story for human redemption, freedom, and wholeness.

As for the ongoing effort of purifying our hearts, it's about daily choices driven by unconditional love over things (many of them good) that vie for our desire, time, efforts, and allegiance. I've heard it said that, "Education of the will is the object of our existence." It really does boil down to having a singular desire, a pure heart... and it's a lifelong learning process.

Kamela Dolinova:
To talk about unconditional love, it's important to talk about what it isn't. Too often in relationships, people put up with partner abuse because they love them, no matter what. The prevalence of this can make the concept of unconditional love seem like a naive joke. But unconditional love is possible, even in abusive relationships. It's okay to go on loving someone who doesn't treat you with love and respect. The trick is what you do about it.

Love is not a feeling, but a state of being. It is that part of us that sees another and knows that we want the best for them, and that to the best of our ability and strength, we will always be there for them. Paradoxically, though, sometimes being there for them means not being there.
If someone you love hits you, coerces sex, lies to you, belittles you or gaslights you, it can be extremely difficult to get out. But if you truly love them, that's exactly what you have to do — for yourself, but also for them.

It’s easy for your friends to say, "Get rid of that jerk."  It may be easier for you to say that to yourself, too.  But it's okay to admit that you still love that person and want what's best for them. Holding space in your heart for someone who hurts you is harder than treating them with hatred. But it's also more honest, and you can know, in the end, that while abusers may break your heart, they can never break your unconditionally loving spirit. Keep reading...

More love advice from Yourtango:

Article contributed by

YourTango Experts

Business Coach

We're here and happy to help! Please email our team:

Melanie Gorman: melanie@yourtango.com

Susan Boyd: susan@yourtango.com

Tina Grimsley: tinag@yourtango.com

Becca Shockey:  becca@yourtango.com

Natalie Schubert:  natalies@yourtango.com

Judy Strain:  judy@yourtango.com

Katie Sleeper:  katie@yourtango.com

Cris Gladly:  cris@yourtango.com

Diana Frustaci:  diana@yourtango.com

 

 

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: Other
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Dating/Being Single Support, Parenting
Advanced Member

Cecil Wong

Life Coach

Getting clear about what you want for your family,

Cecil Wong

Visit my website http://familyconnectionscoaching.com

Location: San Francisco, CA
Credentials: BA, MA

Carol Freund

Counselor/Therapist

Carol L. Freund, LCSW

Holistic Psychotherapy with a Relational Approach

Location: Flemington, NJ
Credentials: LCSW, MA
Advanced Member

Angela Ray Smith

Counselor/Therapist

Angela Ray Smith, LPC, TCMHC

703 Thimble Shoals Blvd., Ste. A-3

Newport News, VA  23606

http://inneractionunlimited.com

angelaraysmith@gmail.com

fb: The Nurtured Heart Approach Coach

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) Practitioner

Location: Newport News, VA
Credentials: EFT, LPC, NCC
Other Articles/News by YourTango Experts, Cecil Wong, Carol Freund, Angela Ray Smith:

Honestly, Arguing In Front Of Your Kids Solves Nothing

By , , , , ,

It goes without saying that no relationship is perfect. From arguing about forgetting to wash the dishes to just being plain annoyed that they're not listening, we've all gone through moments where we felt like we couldn't stand to be around our significant others without wanting to pick a fight. Even in the healthiest relationships, there will be ... Read more

Vulnerability: The Unsung Path To Finding The True You

By

A friend (thanks Brother J) sent me a video link to Brene Brown talking about the power of vulnerability. Here it is, if you’re interested: Brene Brown, "The Power of Vulnerability". What a great way to start my day! To understand more clearly what God has graciously revealed to us through Jesus Christ, the one who became vulnerable to fully ... Read more

Get Intimate: 5 Couples Exercises That Will Bring You Closer

By

Intimacy: everyone wants it, and alluring advertisements suggest that you can easily have it if you go to the right beautiful spot. You only need to get to the beach of a particular resort or the right romantic bed and breakfast, and you can be like the couples in the pictures, who are walking on the sand, arms around each other, toasting over dinner with their ... Read more

Conscious Un-coupling VS. Conscious Coupling

By

If a couple comes to the decision that it's best that they "uncouple" while meeting their responsibilities as co-parents, I'm all for it! In my experience as a counselor for over twenty years, I have worked with children, adolescents, and adults who have been affected by many years of insults, defending their positions, protecting their ... Read more
Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.