Throughout the majority of my life, I have considered myself to be a lover. I have most often seen myself as remaining in a feeling of love with those around me. I often find myself feeling open, and responsive to people, whether they are close to me or I am just getting to know them. However, if I am being fully honest, I would say that the love that I hold for just about everyone in my life is conditional in some way.
Now, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love people as they are, or accept their unique qualities. But my love for others comes with expectations, with a demand of sorts of how I want things to be. So, therefore having conditions to it. Even when I thought about this post, and trying to find an exception to this in my life, I couldn’t do it.
Even in my most fulfilling relationships of love, with my family in particular, I have expectations that are deeply conscious, and some that are further below the surface, when I am interacting with them. The expectations are always centered around what I want of their time, attention, or approval. Expectations that I feel entitled to, in order to feel secure and fully loved by the person.
I don’t belittle myself for feeling this way, and I don’t feel funny about the fact that I believe that we are all this way. As humans, it is difficult, if not impossible, to unconditionally love anyone. Even our children who we would give anything for. Along with that love comes expectations that things need to be a certain way. And, mind you, some of those expectations, whether of our children, parents, coworkers, or friends, are not always completely self centered or unreasonable.
Still, we do have expectations, and at the worst of times, we beat ourselves up for having them, and even though we hate to admit it, at times withholding our love for when those expectations are most consistently met.
I am so grateful for awareness! As a human being, I know that I have conditions and expectations of others, but I always get to be in tune with what those expectations are, am I being honest about them with the other person, and if they are reasonable at all. And, I also get to keep reminding myself, that just because a person in our lives does not meet our expectations, even if they are reasonable, does not mean that we and the other person shouldn’t still be loved for who they are.
The truth is, when we have expectations in place, without regard for who the people we love are as unique beings, we don’t allow any room for our humanness. We don’t give ourselves the opportunity to truly accept other people where they are at, and love them in all of their forms and behaviors. The truth is, even if we love on a conditional basis, we still get to simply love.