Are your RELATION SHIPS enjoying adventures on the high seas, or sinking?
Love is not enough to keep our RELATION SHIPS afloat.
Love is great fuel, however, if we do not know how to navigate the ever-changing sea of life, which involves intimately relating to others, we can end up never making it to our heartfelt destination.
We will either sink or end up feeling abandoned and shipwrecked.
Ever loved someone you cannot relate to?
Ever loved someone you don’t like any more?
When clients ask me if I believe love is unconditional, my answer is always the same. Yes.
I believe love is unconditional, however, RELATIONSHIPS are not.
“Unconditional love” is one of the most misused and misunderstood emotional concepts as far as I am concerned. Yes, our pets and children love us and we them unconditionally, that is a universal truth.
However, in adult life, my view is love is unconditional, however, healthy, long-term RELATION SHIPS are absolutely conditional!
When it comes to RELATIONSHIPS “unconditional love” can be a term used too often to “should and shame” people who are trying to emotionally self-preserve and set healthy personal boundaries.
Yes, love is most definitely unconditional, almost involuntary sometimes. Bloody Cupid and his bow!
It is an instinctive reflex of the heart to desire to love and be loved. Some of us still love people we really do not like, and there is nothing we can really do about that.
Our ego (heads, thoughts and bodies actions) will try to delete it … but our heart’s capacity to love is far stronger than hate. We can and do try deleting feelings of love by muting or numbing our heart in an attempt to kill off feelings of inconvenient love with anger, hate and resentment. It doesn’t work for us, but against us long term it just makes us emotionally ill at ease, diseased in fact.
We can most certainly bury love deeply with these dark emotions temporarily, but we will never be fully at peace.
So I’m gonna say it one more time as it is an important concept to digest …
Love is unconditional, however, adult RELATIONSHIPS are not. That is why wedding vows have been around for centuries. People need to know the terms and conditions their hearts are signing up for. In some cultures marriage vows permit polygamy, include dowries and prenuptial financial contracts, whatever works, to each their own I say. However, when we sign our name and give our word to uphold terms or vows they are conditional, not unconditional.
Adults have a choice to stay or leave RELATIONSHIPS.
Abuse, disrespect and neglect are not healthy behaviours to enable long term nor model as examples of loving RELATIONSHIPS for the next generation; it’s emotionally irresponsible and confusing for all.
When I got clean and sober there were two male elders that I had loved as a child that were physically violent and sexually abusive to me. Also a female elder looked on as I was being beaten, then say to me afterwards …
“Are you happy, now you’ve wrecked everybody’s day.”
I tried to numb the innocent childhood love I’d felt for these people for decades with drugs and alcohol.
It didn’t work.
When I got clean and sober back in 1995 my anger had fermented into rage. I tried to hold on to my hate and resentment, but it was driving me back to want to drink and drug again. Diseased feelings about homicide and suicide began to surface, too dark, too emotionally expensive, toxic and exhaustive to sustain.
So I’ve worked extensively on my own Emotional Fitness to get to a place where I can now allow the heartfelt love I innocently felt as a little girl to be present these days, and I’m at peace. Although I choose as an empowered adult to refrain from continuing a RELATIONSHIP with these adults today. I have learnt that some people just don’t have the emotional capacity nor desire to honour personal boundaries that involve emotional responsibility and respect.
Sometimes the most loving thing we can do for another is to accept them and leave them be.
Live and let live.
The most challenging person I have had to learn to love unconditionally (that I’ve already tried to end in my suicidal teenage years) … is with myself.
Inner peace starts to flow when we become willing to unconditionally love all of whom we are and all of who we are not, every day, one day at a time.
We get a lifetime to try to master this huge emotional assignment.
How are you progressing?
Or are you regressing?
I am still very much a work in progress, but doing really bloody well these days, most days.
I just wanted to unpack the emotional baggage that too often gets loaded on to our RELATION SHIPS without being scanned for dangerous contents.
Lisa Prosen so wisely reminds us …
“We can fall in love with a person’s potential, but you have to be in a RELATIONSHIP with their reality”
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™
This Word Vitamin is an excerpt from my latest bookset “The Four Seasons of the Heart”. If you would like to order your own full set of Daily Word Vitamins one for each day of the year, in book form for yourself or as a gift just click on the SHOP tab and place your order.