With Valentine’s day just around the corner, let’s talk about LOVABILITY–your ability to love yourself; love others; and be loved in return.
Everyone is worthy and lovable. 100% without question or doubt. But then why doesn’t it feel that way?
The simple answer: it’s because of how you’re thinking. You’ve spent your entire life learning and being conditioned by other people on how to think– what kind of opinions we should have in order to be socially accepted.
We have our own thoughts and then have thoughts we have been trained to think. Sometimes they sound like ourselves, and sometimes they sound like other people.
The parts of your inner monologue that sounds like others are DEFINITELY social conditioning. Question the hell out of the thoughts that sound like someone else. When you think specific thoughts, do you imagine a parent, teacher, boss, colleague, peer, friend, spouse, etc. saying them? If they don’t “sound” like you, it was something you took on from someone else.
All of this becomes a problem because our thoughts generate our emotions, which we then act upon. This is why relationships (romantic, familial, platonic, etc.) can be so difficult because no one can read the sentences in other people’s heads–including those of us who can sense energy or emotion. This is why we have the common saying of “communication is the most important thing in a relationship.”
Unconditional vs Conditional Love
Unconditional love = There is nothing more than your existence necessary to love you.
Conditional love = I’ll love you if…
Lots of people talk about having unconditional love, but their actions contradict this. The truth is, we all have these moments of contradiction–because we’re human.
We don’t consistently sit squarely in unconditional love or conditional love. Love is more like an ever-adjusting spectrum. There are times when it’s easy to love unconditionally. There are also times when we love the person but don’t love their choices or actions.
if I don’t agree, then my love is conditional?
Possibly. You can totally disagree, but if you love them but not their choices, it’s conditional love. The religious phrase that drives me nuts is “hate the sin, but love the sinner.”
When you love someone unconditionally, you accept them for all of who they are–their thoughts, feelings, actions, looks, choices, etc. You don’t have to like something for yourself, but you do have to accept that what they choose for them is the best thing for them. Just because you wouldn’t choose something (whether out of preference, moral beliefs, personal values, etc.) doesn’t mean it’s wrong–it just means it’s not for you. But if you think that someone you love is making a decision that isn’t good for them and that you know better, you are coming from a place of conditional love.
so, then what is unconditional love?
Unconditional love is trusting the other person to make the best decision for them at that moment with the information they have. You may see roadblocks or struggles down that road for them, and you can communicate those in a loving and respectful way (i.e. asking from a neutral place, “have you considered _?”). However, unconditional love accepts the answers given and trusts that the person knows what is best for them (just like you are the only one that knows best for you), and can handle whatever roadblocks or struggles may come.
Their decision may change in the future, which is completely their prerogative. And if they make a change, it’s not that they made a wrong decision, it means they were meant to learn whatever lessons they needed to on their own.
If this concept is something your brain is wresting with you over, consider how you would feel and react if someone came in and told you that you were wrong and you shouldn’t trust yourself for wanting to color the ocean blue in your picture. And they want you to color it yellow because they prefer yellow over blue.
I hope this has given you some things to think about as we near this commercial holiday of love. As you ponder and practice this concept of lovability through the lens of unconditional love, I know you will find great insight that leads you to love yourself more, cultivate meaningful relationships by loving others more, and also understand the kind of love you deserve from others.
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