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.