Un-Conditional Love

Ladies and gentlemen on today’s rant, I’d like to call to question the concept of Unconditional love.

Everyone wants to be loved, passionately, fiercely, devotedly…myself included. One of the milestones of human life is finding a partner to share your life with. The security of knowing someone will always have your back through the uncertainties and ever-changing tides of life is probably one of the most seductive and pursued goals. Now don’t get me wrong, I look forward to the same as much as the next person, I’m in no way bashing the desire or those that it appeal to, my query is with the reasoning behind pursuing this love, the roles and responsibilities it comes with as well as the effects this love causes to all other aspects of our life.

On the issue of the reasoning for pursuing love, let’s look at the qualities and attributes of those we chose to direct our romantic pursuits towards, shall we? In all six spheres of human life (intellectual, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and physical) we all have a list of priorities (must haves), preferences (not necessary but would be a bonus if they had) and red flags or triggers (traits that you consider intolerable). To put it in the simplest terms I can. My call for introspection is regarding the reasoning behind our criteria in picking a partner. It shows our, priorities, boundaries, sometimes unhealed past trauma, biases etc. whether on a conscious or subconscious level. And therefore love by nature is a self- defining phenomenon hence it is selfish.

Now, in our selfishness to acquire a “perfect” partner for ourselves…we tend to forget to first become a person that “perfect” partner would choose to be with. We refuse to evolve, grow and heal our past wounds and instead use them as an excuse for being less than we are capable of becoming. We instead groom and mold our partners to fit our fears and those parts of ourselves that we don’t know how to heal. We aren’t prepared for love, we come bleeding to other people in hopes that they will be our bandages, which is absolutely unfair. We use partners to raise our value in our own eyes and fill voids that aren’t their responsibility to fix. We sometimes choose partners of a certain kind not because they are who we actually need, but we are attracted to them because we can use their qualities to cover up what we feel we are lacking in, both in our eyes and those of the world.

Now this selfishness is often camouflaged as “loving hard” which strategically places the subject as the victim of the story. One of relationships’ greatest roles is growth, both individually and as a team. Individual growth in a relationship is achieved by identifying triggers, analyzing their sources and healing the broken or hurt parts of ourselves that are the source of the unhealthy behaviors or ideologies we keep discovering we harbor. It is keeping each other accountable and calling each other out on things we need to improve on as we grow. While creating an enabling environment for healing and learning.

Individual boundaries are to be respected even in a relationship. These boundaries, however, aren’t to be used to manipulate our partners. Both parties should still keep in touch with their individuality and independence while in the relationship, which should also not be used as a disrespectful tool against our partners and our relationships. Love is a drug so when you start acting like a passionate pill popper, talking about you don’t know who you are without them, remember you’ll need to figure it out if or when they leave…I’d recommend start now.

This concept of having a ride or die is worrying to me personally, simply because of the toxic “loyalty” one is expected to portray to their partner is more often than not used to trap someone into thinking they have to put up with all manner of bullshit to indeed prove that their love is authentic. This way of thinking has convinced many that love is only love when it is hard and it asks you to sacrifice your soul and swim through an ocean of man eating sharks because, you say you love this person, right? So you would do anything for them, wouldn’t you? You are special to this person, you’re the only one that could go so far for them because only you really understand them? See the potential of the person they are capable of becoming? Know their sorrows and wounds and you understand why you have to save them? Why you have to sacrifice yourself for them?

Yeah, no. I said what I said.

Stop expecting people to put up with your dishonest, no good, disrespectful self. Someone that continues to overstep your boundaries, push your limits, keep putting you down, draining you and damaging you might be someone you love…they just aren’t ready to be receptive to your love. Therefore your place is to love them from a distance, and you are not wrong in looking out for yourself when you should. Putting yourself first and loving yourself sometimes looks like that, selfish….self -seeking. It is not all daisies and lillies, separating yourself from people you love that aren’t good for you feels like betraying yourself…

Love doesn’t require you to shed who you are in order to be valid, to shed your accomplishments, your beauty, your strengths, your scars…Love doesn’t require you to show up as less than you are for the sake of keeping the other’s ego pampered. Don’t break yourself into bite size pieces darling, stay whole and let them choke.

Affection is the feeling of attraction and connection to a person, love is the conscious commitment we make to preserve the affection we develop for a person.

~Wanjiru~

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