I don’t think I have ever experienced unconditional love.
That’s not to say that my parents and grandparents didn’t love me. They did despite my flaws and flaunts and disrespect. It is from them I know of love without conditions.
I mean from a partner, a life mate, a lover. From a man.
Those who I have let inside, in retrospect, had a hard time loving themselves. And I, too, didn’t have the understanding of love for self.
No. I was young and took willingness to be in my company as love. And that might have been okay.
Except something happened to me: I grew. I became more aware of me. I quit tolerating my critical voice which so easily and eagerly noted my flaws. The strength of this voice made seeing my beautiful self as a self worthy of love without judgment or dismissal.
As this critical view lost its hold over me, I began to see myself in a new light as I emerged from the darkness.
A darkness held in place by the man in my life if for no other reason than his dislike for himself was stronger than his dislike of me learning to see myself.
Life has many examples of unconditional love. Beautiful words penned by those seeking to express that which is felt from the depths of heart.
But to feel this depth without limit for another, you must begin with your own self. What does it mean to love self unconditionally? Does it mean no harsh words or strict examination of weakness?
A condition is a requirement, sometimes a demand, that must be completed before attention, care, support can be extended.
Applied to love, this is love with chains, weighing and holding back. A condition limits that which should be limitless.
Let me lose ten pounds so I can love myself. That’s conditioned. That’s not love freely offered.
Nor is the admonishment from another which begins, “If only you XYZ, then I could like you better.” This is deflection and turning the lack of his love into your fault. And I took this, unquestioned. I blamed me, too.
Then one day, I caught myself in the mirror of my soul and gasped. I am beautiful! Just as I am! I am worthy of love!
And seeing myself bare, stripped to the essential, to the core of ME, I learned that conditions were not necessary. I had it within me to love. me. Nothing need be amended, lost, or bettered. Nothing. Just as I am. Loved. Price beyond rubies. Me.
And I know if I can love me that there are someones, a man, who can do this for himself and then unconditionally for me.
I love me.
And he will, too.