Friday, January 4, 2008

Is there unconditional love?

I've read that it's possible to have unconditional love of self in which you love yourself regardless of external conditions. This means being true to your feelings regardless of those around you. Based on what I know from Al-Anon, the HP loves each of us unconditionally. And if I look outside myself for love, I will not find unconditional love from another human. This has been a tough one to understand in my past but now I know that my demands for love often far exceed what the other person can give. And then my expectations of the other become burdensome and filled with conditions that end up in disappointment and even anger.

It's hard for me to imagine unconditional love in intimate relationships. Maybe after many years together and a lot of insight, one gets to the place where there are no conditions vis a vis the other person. I know that I have lowered my expectations dramatically since being in Al-Anon. But they haven't entirely gone away. My mind will go to the place where I concoct the "what if's" and think about how I wish the one I love would not have an alcoholic mind or selfish behavior. Or if I could just remake them to be the way that I want.... I now realize how dangerous that way of thinking is but sometimes my head just goes there, just as a tongue goes to a sore tooth.

But then I have to say that there is the unconditional love of dogs. They seem to be so happy just to hear the car drive up or hear our voice. They wag, bounce around, and are genuinely glad just to be in our company. A morning at the beach is the best thing in the world. I've had dogs for many years and they have taught me a lot about life and living it in a happy way. Sometimes I think that the HP is manifested in the spirit of dogs and showing us in a tangible form how to love unconditionally.


  1. HI Syd! Happy New Year! So good to catch up with ya. Love the post re unconditional love. Of course there's no such thing as unconditional love - this would mean accepting EVERYTHING - good bad or indifferent! Acceptance of differences does not mean approval. (Just an aside here - did you know that DOG is GOD spelled backwards?)

    I loved my spouse to the best of my nature and ability; however, he (the alcoholic, too) - loved me as close to unconditionally as I've ever seen it done. In spite of many differences, his love has become a treasure that comforts me better than anything else - including the hugs from my grandchildren. I simply close my eyes, go into a meditation, and there he is - loving me like no one has ever loved me. This is the gift he gave me the last 10 years of our 43 year marriage.

    My grandmother told me as a young girl - the best way to treat a man (or any special person) - is to treat them as you would a fine loved dog! Think about it!

    Much love to you,
    Anonymous E1

  2. I like it when E Tolle says relationships are not there to make you HAPPY. they are there to make you CONSCIOUS.
    liberated and free thinking partners are just as frightening and challenging as 'alcohic' partners.
    the goal is not to be 'happy'. the goal is to grow up. face reality AS IT IS, instead of how we would like it to be. but yes they have a special element a well.
    trust me, the grass is not greener with a more realized human being as a partner. life is always ? scary when you push against the ego in relationships. no matter who you are with.the more honest the more scary as ALL is impermanent. no delusions of permanence. yipes!

    but i have NO IDEA how people put up with alcoholics. ?? baffles me. even sober ones. not my cup of tea.

  3. I have a cat who loves me unconditionally, I learn alot from him. Wish I could be the person he thinks I am. I would have a dog too, but I can't in my apt.

    I came as close to unconditional love as I ever have with my last fiancee, I truly loved him, but I could not approve of some of his actions, mainly toward me. I had to put respect for myself before my love for him, & that was a difficult choice. I hope I can feel that kind of love again someday, for myself first. Good topic.

  4. Only God can love us unconditionally. I am so grateful for that love.

  5. I'd like to think that mothers love unconditionally. The next best thing would be a dog. As humans..we all go into a relationship with expectations and when they're not met...we feel unloved. I don't think anyone can live up to anybody's we humans are too demanding...but its nice to dream.

  6. That is a tough one, Syd. However, I believe that I can love unconditionally when it comes to my children and grandchildren though I find it more difficult with others. Since being in Al-Anon myself, I have learned how to lower my expectations also. However, I still have them of myself and sometimes that can be the worse thing of all.


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