When we love someone, at what point do we decide that our threshold of tolerance has been exceeded? We all know the concept of unconditional love; we all want to be loved unconditionally, but what does it really mean? Loving someone this way means that there are no expectations, limitations, or conditions to the way you feel. Let’s consider this: loving someone regardless of what may come is a romantic notion, but is it practical? It expels the notion of ‘enough is enough’ and negates your individuality. So we would like to be loved unconditionally, but can we love unconditionally?
Loving someone limitlessly is a tall order to fill. It presupposes the ability forgive, accept, and persevere. Forgiveness, acceptance, and perseverance are virtues we all strive to acquire, but our ego usually gets in the way. Letting go of our anger and pride to forgive, letting go of our prejudices to accept, and persist despite disturbances and disagreement is not the natural human nature. The relationship that comes to mind is that of mother and child; mothers usually love their babies despite who they are and what they do. Loving without expecting to receive anything goes against human nature as well. Our capitalist culture has been ingrained into us that ‘you give to get’; we are programmed in this way and practice this philosophy throughout our lives; in the workplace, in relationships, and in commercial activities. This is tied to conditional love, because it is this philosophy that we base our conditions on. We work for an employer to get money and in return we perform services. Our actions are conditional in this way from the playground: if we work hard we get the A. An example of conditionless love can be found in a true servant of God. They will perform duties and prayers to God without seeking anything in return.
We all want to be loved regardless of our mistakes, our temperaments, and faults. I want that security and assurance, but it requires an almost saintly being at the other end. Unconditionally loving someone requires putting aside your ego, forgetting your principles, and releasing your intolerances. The prime examples are mother/ child relations and servant/ God relations. Even the mother/ child relation tends to evolve over time as loving another human being unconditionally can be exhausting, demeaning, demoralizing, and even damaging as it requires an understanding and acceptance beyond the self. I try to unconditionally love someone and even the attempt I make leaves me feeling used, dejected, and degraded as I have to put aside my own opinions, thoughts, and beliefs for her happiness.
When we love someone we harbor deep feelings for them that usually help to overcome arguments and disagreements, but there comes a point when will not be able to stand for the grave mistakes, the intolerable abuse, or the inconsiderate behaviors that challenge us. Loving another then reaches its optimal point when both parties have a mutual respect and understanding of the others values, beliefs, and temperament. Unconditional love thus becomes a more elevated experience requiring first wholly loving yourself first. Only when you can absolutely love yourself despite your faults, imperfections, and impurities can you even fathom to unconditionally love other.
Everyone has a limit, a tolerance level and when we understand and accept this we end up in harmonious relationships Life is an adjustment so why wouldn’t we adjust for the ones we love.