To love someone unconditionally takes a conscious effort. We have our own value systems, attitudes, opinions and beliefs. We have ways we like to do things, habits that have formed over time, and individualised experiences that help form who we are in relationship. And as a result, if we are not careful, love can become conditional. It can be overt or implied; conditional love involves a ‘set of rules’ that one must follow to feel approval and acceptance from their loved one.
Unconditional love includes acceptance of who a person is. It is not about their behaviours, choices or their level of success or achievement. Loving someone unconditionally involves stability, consistency and being attuned to their needs. What is one of the top ways that we can consciously love someone without condition? Show up.
- Be intentional. Check in on loved ones, ask how someone is doing. Invite someone over, suggest a time to chat.
- Listen with an open mind. Feeling validated is a core component of feeling accepted.
- Be open to being vulnerable. Sometimes we are going to get feedback that may insult, anger or hurt; this may require being vulnerable to our own actions that may be hurting the relationship in some way.
- Be mindful of relationship manners. Get somewhere on time; don’t be the friend that always cancels or doesn’t answer texts.
- Remind someone that they are loved. Sometimes our loved ones are struggling to make healthy choices and we need to set some boundaries – within that process, we can still say “I love you.”
- Create opportunities for joy. Moments of joy and laughter help to cement the relationship through shared experiences.
Loving unconditionally is not always an easy process. By showing up, we help another to feel accepted, appreciated and cared for. We help feed their soul.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@k_yasser