Unconditional Love a.k.a. Baby Don’t Hurt Me

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love

Most people think that unconditional love means that the person you love can do what they wish and you should still love them, even if it hurts you.

This is why people stay in abusive situations. They assume that if they don’t, they aren’t giving the other person unconditional love.

This is so wrong.

Unconditional love should begin and end with you.

When you unconditionally love yourself, no one can rock your boat. No one can upset you. You stop searching for someone who will make you happy.

When your happiness comes from within you, no one can take it away via their actions or words.

When you unconditionally love yourself, it shouldn’t matter what your partner is doing. If they do something that is in conflict with your values or put you in danger, leave. When you respect yourself, this is the only option. Remember, you teach people how to treat you.

This isn’t selfish or narcissistic. This is self-preservation. When you take the burden of your happiness off of your partner’s responsibility, only then are you are in a true love relationship. Only then are you in a true unconditional love relationship.

Also, when your partner knows you alone are responsible for your happiness, they are less likely to do things that will give you grounds to leave. And if they do, they weren’t the right partner to begin with.

For example, a true partner wants to please their mate because it also makes them happy. They won’t overspend, gamble, drink too much, have an affair, and so on because it would mean bringing much unhappiness into their own lives.

People who unconditionally love themselves don’t do things to bring chaos into their lives and thus not yours.

Again, this isn’t selfish or narcissistic behaviour. Narcissists insist you make them happy. They insist they be happy without caring about your happiness. A narcissist will do things they know are different from your values and expect you to accept their behaviour, unconditionally. Their comfort will always be of the utmost importance, even if it means making you uncomfortable. See the difference?

I’ll never get married again but eventually I’d like a dedicated relationship. And I would like us to say something like this to each other:

Hey, I like you pretty good. You bring much joy into my life. I promise to never make you responsible for my happiness. I would like to commit to you in a reciprocal relationship filled with trust, honesty, friendship, love, joy, happiness, adventure, growth, and companionship. Deal?

Deal.

The Better Question

If you knew you only had one more year to live, what would you do differently, if anything, than you are doing now?

⇒Would you travel more?

⇒Would you call that person?

⇒Sell all your stuff and pursue a dream?

⇒Take that painting/writing/singing/acting class?

⇒Write that book?

⇒Take a risk?

⇒Spend more time with loved ones?

Quit that job?

⇒Stop that draining friendship?

⇒Dance more? Sing more? Party more? Read more?

⇒Laugh more? Cry more? Love more? Hug more?

⇒Live each moment and take it all in?

⇒Record your life moments with a diary/photos/video?

⇒Leave a legacy?

⇒Remove everything that wasn’t necessary so you can concentrate on what is necessary?

The better question is: How do you know you don’t only have one more year to live?

 

You Can’t Get There From Here

You can’t cry your way to happiness.

You can’t eat your way to weight loss.

You can’t sleep yourself into energy.

You can’t spend your way to wealth.

You can’t hold a grudge and have forgiveness.

You can’t find a partner by hiding inside.

You can’t get there from here.

If you want a change in your life, you have to change something.

Start small. Starting with small steps eventually creates a path to get you to where you want to be; repeated small steps along the same route construct a clearing for us to continue towards our destination.

I started on my trail to happiness by ‘unlovinging’ my previous partner 1% a day. That’s all I did; every night before I went to sleep, I told myself when I woke up, I would love him 1% less. (I wasn’t sure how it worked or what that really meant, but that wasn’t the point.)

It wasn’t long before I stopped crying everyday and I started to notice I wasn’t missing him as much anymore. And just like that, one day I didn’t love him anymore. It wasn’t a dramatic flash when I first realized I didn’t love him anymore; it was more like a ‘did I leave the iron on?’ moment.

If someone would have said, “Just stop loving him”, that wouldn’t have worked; I couldn’t get there from where I was living. You can’t just stop loving someone you love.

Like attracts like.  Small steps will attract additional small steps, permitting you to take the bigger steps towards where you want to be.

If you have an unhappy aspect in your life, start with small changes, even as small as 1% and watch them add up to 100%, without much additional effort on your part. But the caveat is you must act, you must have the action, no one can do it for you.

Because you can get to there from here, eventually.

Please Stay

After 27 years of being told the ultimate lie – ‘I love you’ – please forgive me if I no longer hold those three words in high regard.

Of course I love my children and I tell them I love you as often as I can, but that’s a sacred bond between parent and child, where the love is pure.

As for hearing it from someone I don’t share DNA with? Not so much. Will I ever trust those words from a man again? I won’t know until it happens.

Besides, there are far better ways to tell someone they are important to you. The one that sits on top of my list is ‘please stay.’

Please stay trumps I love you in so many ways.

When you sincerely ask someone to please stay, you are making a choice, not tossing meaningless words out of your mouth.

Please stay implies that when you are here with me, my life is more enjoyable. You matter to me. I enjoy you. I enjoy being with you. You are wanted and I want to be with you. 

“Must you go already? Please stay”, to someone who has come to visit you is the best approval rating for their visit you could ever offer them. It tells them you enjoyed their company and you don’t want their visit to end.

“Please stay, you haven’t told me about your ______ yet”, is the subtle praise of your presence and that you are interesting.

Please stay and work this out means right this moment, you are the most important person in my life. We are the most important thing to me at this particular time and space.

Please stay also requests that you share one of your most precious possessions – your time. It’s a gift that is instantly given and received, no wrapping required.

Also, it won’t take you long after telling the wrong people to please stay, out of politeness or obligation, before you learn to use it judiciously. After a few miserable long-lasting encounters you won’t be throwing those words around again anytime soon. Especially on social media, lest you have your best friend’s Grade Two neighbour’s grandmother’s sister-in-law sleeping on your sofa. For six months.

A sincere please stay is about the kindest thing you can say to one another.

When I left on my latest journey, I got lots of ‘I love you’ and ‘going to miss you’ but no one asked me to please stay.

I have a friend who has terminal cancer. There will come a time I can’t ask her to please stay anymore. That’s where the please stay becomes selfish; I’d only be asking her stay to make my life easier, not hers.

When she can no longer stay, all I will have are the memories of her, and at which time I will ask those memories to please stay.

Please stay, forever and a day.

I will know the moment that I have found The One, when after spending many hours together and it’s time for me to leave, he asks, “Do you really have to go? Please stay – shall I order us one more glass of wine?”

I hope I don’t cry.

Is This Really Necessary?

Is this really necessary?

Is this really necessary?

This year, the New Year Eve festivities in Paris will be a laser show from and on the Arc de Triomphe.

One Parisan lady, obviously not impressed, expressed her dismay by simply stating, “Is that really necessary?”

My daughter and I both laughed and it has become our touchstone quote throughout our whole Christmas trip to Paris. And it got me wondering, what a fabulous way to live, always asking if something is really necessary.

Think about it – how streamlined and efficient your whole life would be and become, only by using four simple words.

Buying something new? Is it really necessary?

Spending money on frivolity? It is really necessary?

Have someone in your life that is more effort than they are worth? Are they really necessary?

Name brands? Are they really necessary?

The amount of food/snacks you are about to eat? Is that really necessary?

A full cart at Costco? Is that really necessary?

That bottle of supplements? That new exercise fad? That diet book? Are they really necessary?

Adding to your debt? Is that really necessary?

Another glass of wine? Yes.

And so on.

By removing the unnecessary from your life, you allow the necessary more room to be useful, pleasurable, and balanced.

In debt? This question alone will help you magically return to sanity, help you to stop spending, using the extra money to pay down your balance and then to stay out of debt.

Overweight and out of shape? Is it necessary to eat so much, rely on the magic diet/gizmo, taking the escalator/elevator or vehicle everywhere? Even ask yourself if the gym membership is necessary.

Stressed to the max? Is it necessary to work so much, take on so much, get involved so much?

In a bad or one-sided relationship? Is it necessary to keep this person in your life?

House full of stuff and cluttered? Is it necessary to keep buying more? Is it even necessary to keep it all?

Who needs resolutions when you have one guiding question all year around?

Using the “Is this really necessary?” as the first and most important question for everything you do, you will find that when it comes to yearly New Year’s resolutions, they won’t ever be necessary.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Here comes Christmas. The third Christmas with my family blown apart.

It never gets easier; you just learn to cope with it healthier.

I’ll be alone on Christmas Day, but I’ll be in Paris, so I’m good.

I received an early Christmas gift this year. One I wasn’t expecting nor asked for. I didn’t even know I needed this gift.

Sidebar – Never surprise people; you don’t know where they are at and the surprise could turn to distress. [And believe people when they say they don’t like surprises.]

The boundaries of what I thought were my contentment were tested and shaken. Sobbing and reverting to old patterns, I failed miserably. Or did I?

After one night of a solid pity party, the next day I shook it off.

The day after the day after, it slowly it came to me that I shook it off quite easily and quickly. I got right back on that path of being appreciative and joyful but without a lot of thinking or effort. It felt like the most natural thing in the world; to carry on without feeling distressed.

What a fabulous gift to receive, a gift of testing your strength, without having to lose anything. Learning that you can, and will bend, but you won’t break.

Just knowing that my strength is still there, no matter what life throws at it, makes me feel even sturdier. And happier.

Thank you for the best Christmas present you ever gave me.