Since my childhood, I was taught unconditional love. Being born and brought up in a Christian family, I was close to the teaching of love. Christianity is based on the foundation of love, the foundation of ‘agape’. Unconditional love is loving someone as you love yourself. It made me selfless and I kept on doing well for others, even when it was hurting me. On the other hand, self-love was not a concept for me. I never knew what could be self-love. The majority of the time while taking care of others, we often forgot to take care of ourselves.
The concept of unconditional love is not just conceived in Christianity and it is also deeply rooted since the beginning of humanity.
Anything in excess could be harmful. Loving, hatred, excitement, anger, or any other emotion is harmful. Emotion is a state associated with neurophysiological processes reflected in our behavior. Love has many definitions but the perception about love truly varies. For one, love may be spending quality time but for someone else, it could be making them happy. Definition and perception may definitely not be the same but how we feel is somewhat the same. Unconditional love is investing yourself completely in that relationship.
Now, the question arises is it right or wrong to love unconditionally?
Well, I don’t know the answer but I do know a few things from my experience that I would love to share with you. Loving someone is a beautiful feeling in itself, and being loved by someone is another mind-blowing feeling. We learn about love from our house and families. So, the way we love and show our love will also differ. We start loving our parents, we are not sure of boundaries but they do exist. Our parents also never show us any boundaries and they pour out all their love for us as much as they could. In our blended culture, the concept of boundaries is either not shown up or rather shown as putting on limitations on a person but it is more likely to be related to knowing when to step back.
Yes, you heard me right. Building boundaries are important, even though we were not taught of it. Think about it, will like it if someone comes to your house and doesn’t leave for long or someone comes to invade your personal space. The same goes with mind, if we don’t create boundaries and let anyone stay up there, it could lead to a huge mess.
But, we love that person and it should be selflessly. That might be true but we need to understand this fact before dissolving those already built boundaries that love for others must not compromise love with ourselves.
Now the questions arise, how to analyze where we should stop and how to step back without hurting anyone?
If little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you
Little by little
If suddenly you forget me
Do not look for me
For I shall already have forgotten you…
But, if each day, each hour, you feel that you are destined for me
With implacable sweetness
If each day a flower climbs up to your lips to seek me
Ahh my love, ahh my own, in me all that fire is repeated
In me nothing is extinguished or forgotten
My love feeds on your love, beloved
And as long as you live, it will be in your arms without leaving mine
By Pablo Neruda
If the love given, is not received back there, shall you must take a moment to think. It is important to give and receive respect, care, and love that we give in a relationship. Many times, we don’t realize the more we give and give, and starts to drain out. It’s the moment we need to reconsider things. Also, people take advantage of the one, who is loving them.