5 Reasons Why Unconditional Love Is The ONLY Kind Worth Having

couple snuggling on couch

Two IS definitely better than one.

It's been said that you can only be loved as much as you love, yet we often find ourselves chasing love and seeking approval in hopes of feeling worthy.

We chase love because we feel stronger and more confident when we are part of a couple. We seek love because we are genetically wired to belong. 

Though I’d love to tell you that you have to just love yourself – period – it isn’t always that simple. Sometimes the unconditional love of a partner allows us to stop the hustle for love and actually be loved.

Yes, darling, I am all about learning to love and accept yourself for exactly who you are. But, for most of us, we leave our childhoods slightly scarred and with barriers to love. We spend our childhoods changing who we are so that our parents will love us and our friends will accept us. Yet, the more we force ourselves to deviate from who we authentically are, the further we move away from that deep sense of love and belonging.

Here are 6 reasons unconditional love is worth cultivating:

1. Unconditional love helps you let go of perfectionism and cultivate self-compassion.

Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief that says: “If I look perfect, live perfectly, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid the painful feelings of shame, judgment and blame."

Because there is no such thing as perfect, we are constantly striving for an unattainable goal. When we aren’t perfect, rather than questioning the faulty logic of perfection, we hustle harder in our quest to make everything perfect.

This limits us from being ourselves,  because the true us isn’t perfect.

Unconditional love allows us to lay down the masks of perfection. It holds a mirror to our face that says “I see you. I recognize you. I love you no matter how imperfect you are.” It opens the door and allows us to cultivate more self-compassion. When we are more compassionate, we begin to accept and love ourselves more.

Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance. Yet, often we must experience feeling loved and accepted for our imperfections in order to cultivate that acceptance.

We must feel seen, known, and free to honor the spiritual connection that grows with trust, kindness, and affection. Because when you feel loved, you find the courage to step into your vulnerability. You can dig into those raw places and experience vulnerability emotionally and spiritually.

2. Being loved unconditionally helps us feel witnessed, heal our wounds, and own our story.

We humans are not meant to traverse this world alone. We yearn to share our lives and have them witnessed and seen.

Our partners serve as our witnesses and help us see that our experiences – the good, the bad, the strong and the vulnerable – are moments of beauty. In order to heal our wounds, we must become resilient to the fears around them.

This is where our stories come in. We need to name our fears and dive into the stories of where they originate. Telling your stories allows you to not only feel the vulnerability around them, but also helps us cultivate resilience to those feelings of inadequacy, shame and unworthiness. We also need to see where the stories we’ve told ourselves over the years aren’t facts or truths – but lies.

When we are unconditionally loved, we have a safe space to share our stories. We have a partner who helps us see the lies we’ve told ourselves over the years. Those wounds of childhood get a chance to heal because we own our stories.

3. Being unconditionally loved helps you let go of the need for certainty and cultivate faith.

I hate to break it to you, kitten, but nothing in life is certain. Well, except death and taxes, as the saying goes. If you want to dive into living with your whole heart and live consciously, holding out for certainty is crippling. So, you’re going to have to have faith.

When you are unconditionally loved, you get to cultivate faith. Faith allows you to take risks – to stretch and to grow. Faith is the belief that no matter what happens, everything will turn out ok. Faith and love are powerful reminders that you aren’t in this life alone. You have a partner that will always have your back.

4. Being unconditionally loved frees you from needing to feel cool and in control all the time.

Yearning to look “cool” or “popular” pushes us further away from achieving that in any natural way. Our freedom is found within the vulnerable and goofy yet soulful expressions of who we are. Always trying to look cool and be in control is exhausting!

Unconditional love lets you be your true, silly self. You get to have more fun (and be super goofy with someone). Life is too short to keep ourselves from having fun.

5. Being unconditionally loved allows us to cultivate a healthier sense of self.

Being loved by another person – wholly, unconditionally, warts and all – gives us that permission to see ourselves as worthy enough to actually belong and be loved. Our courage grows as we cultivate a stronger sense of self-acceptance and compassion.

We  courageously step into faith and heal our childhood wounds. And all that unconditional love helps us, not only love ourselves for all our quirks and imperfections, it radiates outward and allows us to more wholly love others, too.

Debra Smouse is a Tarnished Southern Belle who discovered that when she fell in love with her life, it loved her right back. Visit her website or connect with her on Twitter or Facebook.