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How To Love Unconditionally & Still Stay Sane

How To Love Unconditionally & Still Stay Sane

After two painful divorces, I learned several valuable lessons about love and marriage that I was sharing with a friend awhile back. You may be reluctant to take relationship advice from someone whoís on her third marriage, so take what Iíve learned with a grain of salt. But I wish someone had taught me these lessons years ago.

13 Things Iíve Learned About Unconditional Love

  1. Unconditional love is epic. You canít earn it. You donít get to choose who receives it.† It goes beyond all logic and exceeds your ability to understand it. It just is.
  2. Unconditional love doesnít just apply to romance. While you may love your partner unconditionally, you may also unconditionally love your parent, your child, your best friend, or your ex-lover.
  3. Unconditional love doesnít always make sense. You may unconditionally love your abusive, alcoholic mother or the brother who molested you or the husband who betrayed you. You may have every reason on earth to hate someone, but you love them anyway. Thatís how unconditional love works.
  4. Unconditional love is boundless. By definition, there are no conditions on unconditional love. It is a gift someone doesnít have to earn. Itís Divine love. Itís a form of grace. The person you love could become a drug dealer, form a prostitution ring, molest a child, and then kill someone – and you might not like what theyíve done, but you will still love them.
  5. You can love the person unconditionally and still hate the behavior. The person you love unconditionally may disappoint you in a thousand ways. But when you love unconditionally, you can separate the behavior from the person, rejecting the behavior without rejecting the person.
  6. Loving someone unconditionally doesnít mean being a doormat. Even if you love someone with this kind of epic love, you donít have to tolerate bad behavior. If he cheats, itís okay to leave. If he hits you, itís okay to separate. If she tears you apart every time, you donít have to keep going home. You can love unconditionally and still set boundaries.
  7. Unconditional love doesnít mean staying when youíre unhappy or unfulfilled. Sometimes we unconditionally love a partner who isnít meeting our needs. Maybe your partner doesnít feed your soul, squelches your creative potential, and threatens to hold you back from living out your calling and reaching for your dreams. As much as having unconditional love for someone can enrich a relationship, the presence of unconditional love doesnít mean settling for less than you truly desire in life.† Sometimes itís time to move on – and thatís okay. It doesnít weaken the love or mean youíre a bad person. You can leave, and even if you break someoneís heart, you can still love that person unconditionally.
  8. We enter into sacred contracts with those we love unconditionally. We are here on earth with those we love unconditionally in agreement to help each other grow. To complete our assignments, we face challenges together.† How we navigate these challenges is part of what weíre here on earth to learn.
  9. Unconditional love relishes the individuality of another being. When you love unconditionally, you love someone for who they really are – not who you want them to be. When you love someone unconditionally, you encourage authenticity. You celebrate diversity and non-conformity, you agree to disagree, you encourage debate, and you donít take it personally. You stop faking it with each other. You give that person permission to live and speak his or her truth, even if you donít agree with what he or she believes.
  10. Unconditional love may not be reciprocated. Every individual has a different capacity for opening their heart. You may be more gifted in loving with an open heart than the person you love unconditionally. Itís not personal. Be grateful that you have this capacity to love, and try not to take it personally if the person you love isnít able to return the epic love you have. If your love isnít reciprocated, donít let it keep you from opening your heart to others. As much as it can hurt to have your unconditional love unreciprocated, you have to†give people permission to break your heart in order to experience the blessings of being loved unconditionally by others.
  11. Unconditional love never ends, even if the relationship is over. By its very definition, unconditional love is not conditional. The love can go on beyond when a relationship ends. You can love someone unconditionally who you havenít seen in twenty years. Unconditional love can even continue after the person you love dies. This kind of love never ends.
  12. Unconditional love is worth the risk. When you give your heart away fully to someone, you assume risk.† Someone could hurt you. Youíre saddled with a love that will never end. It can be scary and painful and exhausting to love unconditionally. But dare I say that this is the meaning of life – to learn to love unconditionally and be loved in return? Yes, thatís what I believe.
  13. To love unconditionally is divine. When we love unconditionally, we channel the kind of love the Divine has for us and become vessels of healing, nurturing, and connection.

It’s such a fine balance. One of my wise clients said, “Love that requires you to compromise your integrity, your values, or your healing isn’t, ultimately, love.” Or is it? Maybe people who demand that you compromise your integrity, your values, or your healing shouldn’t be allowed to influence you, and if you can’t set those boundaries and still have them in your life, perhaps you need to take a break from them.

But is it not love? I’m not sure. I guess I think you can still love someone who asks you to compromise. The difference is that you don’t have to acquiesce to anyone’s demands, even if you love them unconditionally.

Do You Love Someone Unconditionally?

Tell us your triumphs, your challenges, your feelings, and your stories.

Unconditionally yours,

****

Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of†OwningPink.com,†Pink Medicine Revolutionary,†motivational speaker, and author of†Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about†Lissa Rankin here.

 

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at†LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities -†HealHealthCareNow.com and†OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.

54 comments

+ add your own
12:48AM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

interesting

12:30PM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

My comments:"yes and no and yes and no!"
But I fully agree about unconditional loves continues even after the person is dead.

1:22AM PDT on May 19, 2012

Love doesn't exist.

2:24PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

If unconditional love is defined as simply loving the person and not necessarily staying with them or keeping them as a large part of your life, then I love everyone I've ever been in a relationship with still (and we are still friends). And by this meaning of unconditional love, you actually should love everyone you meet if you are able to. Usually when people say unconditional love, they mean things like staying with someone after that person turns abusive, and I do not support that. But if you discount that, then there is no reason to think unconditional love prevents divorce or breakups, but treating everyone lovingly is something to strive for.

11:51AM PST on Feb 28, 2012

Ridiculous. I agree with the intro and I'm "reluctant to take relationship advice from someone who’s on her third marriage." I'm sorry but some of those bullet points should have been left off the list.

6:50PM PST on Feb 26, 2012

Thanks you so much for this great article.

12:22PM PST on Feb 25, 2012

Love the 1 who love u

1:30PM PST on Feb 22, 2012

Thanks for the postie.

9:30PM PST on Feb 21, 2012

I feel this article completely b/c this is what i believe. where would this kind of love go? it seems to me if it is transient or alterable it is not really love at all; and yet I do not know if it is healthy to love in this way. I actually would prefer it if i could just not care, stop loving, and thereby not suffer.

8:36PM PST on Feb 21, 2012

nice :D

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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