Find a love that will make you better. Find a love that will grow with you and make you stronger. Find a love that will help you follow your dreams. Find someone who will open doors for you, even if it means you’ll walk through those doors and leave them behind.
That is the love you deserve: unconditional love. A love that gives, but does not demand reciprocation. It is a love that helps you stand up straight, without minding that once you can stand, you may choose to walk away. It takes a beautiful, selfless heart to conjure this kind of love. It’s the heart of a parent, or someone who would make a good one.
It sounds impossible – like something we’re attracted to conceptually, that we don’t believe we’ll actually find. It isn’t impossible. It exists. And you deserve to find it. (Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to happen tomorrow.)
We don’t believe it will happen for us because sometimes we love selfishly. We live in a world where nothing is free. And when everything comes with a price, why would anyone just give us their heart?
We love selfishly because we’re scared. We want to help the people we love, of course. We want to make them better and give them strength. But not as much as we want them to need us.
Ultimately, we want to invest enough that they’ll need us, but not enough that we’d enable them to leave. We want them to need us enough to never let us go. The alternative is too scary.
We want the energy, time and love we put into a relationship to make the relationship symbiotic. We crave that validation: When the amount you put in, equals the amount you get out.
And that’s the problem. Because the moment we give someone love on the pretense that they’ll love us back, it makes our love conditional. And if we’re only giving conditional love, how will we get unconditional love back?
We’re walking a fine line between giving our love fully, and trying to protect ourselves. Giving unconditional love is scary. It’s just out there – and it makes us vulnerable. But if we really want to make our love unconditional, then there will always be an element of vulnerability. We cannot insist on seeing a return in our investment. We can only hope it doesn’t ruin us. Putting all of your love into a relationship is always a gamble.
It’s especially terrifying if you’ve been hurt before. If you know what it’s like to give unconditional love, and be left behind. It means you’ve already had the courage to open doors for someone, and you’ve watched them walk through those doors and leave you. If you’ve already endured that, it makes giving and receiving unconditional love harder.
Unfairly, it will make your heart just a little more selfish because you will feel even more of a need to protect yourself.
It will turn you off to the very idea of unconditional love – for a while at least. It quells your desire to love with reckless abandon. It may force you to regret the love you showed in the past. You wanted that love to be appreciated, protected and nourished. And it wasn’t.
But it will be. You deserve it. You will find someone with that reckless abandon who will show you the unconditional love that you once had the courage to give. Find someone who will love you enough to let you go. Love them enough to let them go. Discover what happens when you pair your unconditional love with someone else’s.