Most of us tell ourselves we love unconditionally but do we? If we withhold our approval and acceptance of the totality of our loved ones—we’re withholding a piece of our love from them. And that’s a choice based on fear and anger, not love and kindness.
Whether we’re talking sexuality, gender expression, lifestyle and career choices, or forms of expression—those are pieces of what makes us, us. MRI scans show we cause physical harm to the brains and bodies of our loved ones when we reject parts of them.
We may not understand why a person behaves or thinks the way they do. Genetics and experiences guide all of our choices and that makes us the uniquely beautiful beings we are. When someone behaves differently than we expect, it may make us feel uncomfortable or threatened because it makes us rethink our own ideas of “right and wrong”. Some parents especially feel like they have a duty to mold their children into versions of themselves and their culture. And the moment they realize their child is not their mini-me, disappointment abounds.
Many channel that disappointment by saying and doing things to make their child feel guilty and ashamed. It’s like they’re saying, “I feel uncomfortable, so here—you take my discomfort and multiply it by 10.
What a cruel thing to do to our offspring, the precious beings who most look to us for our acceptance and validation. If we’re going to bring and raise up beings into this world, the least we can do is let them know without a doubt that they are enough just as they are.
You are ENOUGH just as you are.
To be clear, I’m not saying we should hold our tongues if we think our loved ones are harming themselves or others. Or that we shouldn’t set boundaries around how we share space and time with those we feel are a danger to us or others.
What I am saying is to be willing to examine whether or not we’re loving unconditionally with our words and actions. Are we giving our love freely and wanting nothing more than their highest well-being? Or are we basing how much love and acceptance we give them on what they're willing to be for us in return?
It’s never too late to reevaluate how we love and live. It’s never too late to take accountability, apologize and change our behavior to be more loving and accepting. It's never too late to UN-condition our love. We’re all humans just trying to figure out how to be here. As long as we’re willing to grow and learn, there’s no shame in that. And I wouldn’t want you to feel shame for that anyway, because I love you unconditionally.