Thursday, November 20, 2008

Unconditional Love

Watching Eliot's video and reading his blog yesterday got me thinking about unconditional love. Matt and Ginny certainly showed it. To them, Eliot was perfect. In fact, Ginny talks about how she loved his partial ear, his webbed feet, his feeding tubes. To the world, those were imperfections, but not to Matt and Ginny. They were just part of who Eliot was- and they loved Eliot for exactly who he was. Unconditionally.

So anyway, it got me thinking about what unconditional love is. And how it's in my life. I can say with certainty that I feel it. For my mother, firstly. She did some things that I can't even tell my best friend, things that my family has never even discussed, but they don't matter too much. They disappoint me, but I love her so much anyway. It got me thinking about one of my sisters, one with whom I was very, very close. She betrayed me time and time again. And I would be angry. But then, she would say she was sorry. And because I love her so, so much, I would forgive. That's a big part of this unconditionally thing. And then, inevitably, she would hurt me again. I'm hurt now, because of her, but I still miss her tremendously. And if she came to me, and asked me to forgive her, I would. Because I will always love her that much.

I also thought about when this love isn't. I like to think my mother and my sister have the same love for me that I have for them, but I can't be sure right now. My father is a different story. Through his actions, he's plainly shown me that his love has conditions- e.g., love the person I love and I will love you. If you can't, I'm sorry. I can't love you as much. I have some friends that recently broke up after several years of dating. If you would have asked them, they would have said that their love was unconditional. No matter what, they were going to love each other. Maybe they still love each other, but there were conditions that caused the love to quit a little- a lot probably- and so now, they don't date. I'm not saying they didn't love each other, but unconditionally means, when it's bad- when something happens that disappoints the hell out of you, that makes your heart hurt- you're there anyway. I don't think one chooses to unconditionally love, because sometimes I wish I could hate my mother for messing up my life for so long, and because I'll never be the same because of it. But I can't, not even a little.

I was thinking about all of this late, and I was interrupted by my best friend, who texted me. It was late, but I got up and talked anyway. This guy, who she had loved for a very long time, and who had hurt her so very much, wanted to talk to her about something she went through, where she needed him. And he wasn't there. The love that is in me for her roared- how dare he? I swore to her, and I'll swear again, that if he makes one move to hurt her again, I will punch him, or find somebody that will, because I love her unconditionally. I love her even when she calls when I'm sleeping, or when we're fighting, or when she needs me to do a favor, and I would do anything for her. There aren't conditions to that. It's not, "I love you between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. because I've got to get to sleep." It's love that I can't help.

She wasn't nearly as angry at him for talking to her as I was. (If I told you what he'd did to her, you'd want to punch him, too). Once, when she was still madly in love with him, even after he did this bad thing, she told me, "I can't be mad at him like you can. I can't yell at him like that." Why couldn't she? Because she loved him- unconditionally. He was a jerk, in every sense of the word, but she couldn't make herself unlove him- until he did something to someone she loved more. Did she talk to him last night because she loved him? I don't know. She'll read this, I'm sure, and roll her eyes, but maybe there's something there. After all, he was her first love. I know she'd never get back together with him or anything, but they had a really strong bond. But after we hung up, I texted her and reminded her that I was here. I was wherever she was, or wherever she needed me because I love her. She knew that already though.

The thing is, as much love as I have for these people, I get it in return from so many. Even when I don't recognize it. And it's unconditional. It's the "okay, you messed up, but here I am anyway, even though I'm mad" kind of love. It's the even though I'm incredibly hurt kind of love. And like Matt and Ginny did- I'm gonna celebrate it.

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