Conditional Love

Conditional Love

To no one in particular,

Everyone wants unconditional love. I cannot give it to you.

If you want unconditional love, go find yourself a dog, a god, or an enabling personality. No matter how neglectful, abusive, or hurtful you might be, you can be sure to find unwavering love from those three.

But not me.

If you strike me or neglect me, I will not look at you with puppy dog eyes or fetch your slippers. If you kill or maim another human being, I will not forgive you or absolve you of all guilt. If you regularly hurt me or trample upon my soul, I will not justify your actions or hope you get better with time.

Why not? Because I don’t like being a victim. Because I don’t hate myself that much. Because pity is not what I want from people. That’s not the kind of attention I like.

The love I give will be like the warmth of sunshine, but not if all you give me is stormy rain. Love isn’t like that. It wasn’t meant to be. But if you think otherwise, then your idea of love is warped.

And you will only pass it on to your children if you get that unconditional love you seek so much. That’s why I cannot give it to you.

I will love my children better than that.

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14 thoughts on “Conditional Love

  1. It seems to me that there is line that is difficult to see between being willing to hang in there when times are tough and things aren’t going quite right and hanging in there when there is no hope. I think ultimately you have to have trust that the people you choose to love ‘unconditionally’ are people that are worthy of that love. You can’t offer that type of love to just anyone.

    I’m sure there is more I could say on this topic and perhaps I will post more later. It’s one of those things where I feel like I’m on the cusp of something profound but that I’m not quite getting it across right now.

    I try.

  2. You’re right, Drew. There’s a line between being supportive and enabling the abuse. For a lot of people, it’s hard to define where that line is, but I think if they ask themselves the following questions, it gets a little easier.

    Is the person being intentionally hurtful? If not, then when the hurt is pointed out, is the person sorry? And even after saying sorry, does it happen again? And again? And again? Does it happen out of that person’s control, or does that person have the power to stop it? If the person has the power to stop it, why does he/she continue? Does the person blame others, events, outside forces for his/her actions? When confronted with the words "Don’t be sorry; be better," does the person actually get better, or does the abuse continue?

    Some people have to hit rock bottom before they can get better, but their enablers "support" them so much that they never hit rock bottom, which is where the consequences come into effect. So if you give someone an ultimatum like "get better or get lost," but then you never follow through with it when that person doesn’t get better, then you lose the effect of the ultimatum and give the message that it’s okay after all.

    It took me a long time to learn that lesson, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to avoid dysfunctional relationships.

  3. yes. i understand this…the curious thing with unconditional "anything" (love, security, etc.) is, the minute we have it, we test it…

  4. well I dont understand this!
    Out of my bounds. There is nothing like unconditional… blah blah blah. Even when its said to be unconditional, THAT is the biggest condition.
    Anyways happy loving books and poetry and a few others 😉
    April U missed my Bday, it was on 10th 🙁
    Anyways u must have had a great time.

  5. love me first , can love others later ;). And dont worry, sometimes the with guys like me you dont need to have kids around. And I am fraught with conditions.

  6. Me and a tube light!! Yes!!
    Its finally struck. I just got , what you meant. You are perfectly right, and there are no ifs and buts. There are times, we do not actually hit back directly, and say ‘get better or get lost’ , but a deep resolve to move..
    If he or she wishes to follow. Fine with me, otherwise fuck off.

  7. Brava! This is a most excellent post, and I was glad to read it. It reminded me of just WHY I left my abusive relationship. Things are tough, really tough now and resolve shakes and wavers and nerves dance near hysteria. But I still left. I still KNEW that something was wrong. I still saw changes in my children that I knew I didnt want for them. And I KNOW I did the right thing. Thank you so much for the reminder. 🙂
    BTW, I got to your site through a link from Renderosity to your patterned cloth tutorial (which is BRILLIANT!) and I just wnated to say that I have enjoyed everything here, and I hope you don’t mind if I return. 🙂

  8. Fantastic April!
    I believe this philosophy can be lent to other parts of your life as well. Take charge of your relationships, career and private time. Don’t let them control you.

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