Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Unconditional Love”

Conditions and Compromise

Unconditional Love

It’s interesting how often these days interaction with someone can always come to “certain conditions”. Doing favors or helping someone with something can end up as a negotiation of sorts. Sort of the payback for things that are done.

The idea of “unconditional” love and friendship is still alive I think, It is definitely a spiritual center we all need to achieve. It makes our lives less complicated in a way.  It is the grace of God. Yet it seems like there are days where things only happen under certain terms.

There are a lot of conditions in life. Sort of like: “I can help you with your problem, but IF I do you need to help me with mine.” Negotiation isn’t always bad, but it will struggle to lead to longer term relationships

Conditional love is the hardest one to cope with.  Like trying to earn someone’s love and attention, it comes with a price. It has a manipulating qualifier to it. I will love you, if only you would be more attentive to my needs. I will love you if only you make enough time for me to do what I want to do.

It goes on and on : I will love you if you  a) lose weight b) gain status, c) dress a certain way, d) be friends with the people I am friends with, e) NOT be friends with the people you are friends with. f) like the colour “blue” – or hundreds upon hundreds of other conditions.

There is something about compromise in a relationship (which is healthy) that can spill over into conditions. When it does there may not be an immediate way to recognize it. But it exists. And over time it can lead to resentment, to disillusion that ends in someone being very hurt.

So I always give my kids that advice, Be sure to “be yourself” and be aware of the difference between compromises in a relationship and conditions.

The Condition of Love

At this time of the year, being spring ( in the US anyway) and also Easter, the subject of love comes up often it seems in blogs, and around my home. More often than not the discussion of love lands on the idea of what true love means. It is interesting the amount of opinions this topic will surface, especially when it seems almost all of us are striving to find it in their lives. Maybe we are wanting to embrace it because we recognise it and value it so much, or we want to work hard to define it because we are unsure that what we have is truly love.

One of my fellow bloggers  recently blogged: 

Greek has three words to describe love. There is Eros, meaning a love founded on craving and desire. Such is love for specific food, activities, and other things. Second is Filia, meaning love in the context of interdependence (in a family or a community), where it is highly focused on “give and take”. Examples are: I love my family, I love my boyfriend, I love my best friend. Third is Agape, meaning the total self giving kind of love, the highest form of loving, where nothing is asked of return and self-sacrifice is of prime importance.  Thank you Aix for your post!

We all seem to be searching for the Agape-type of love in our lives, unconditional and pure. But because we are human we most always will fall short.  Statements that start with “I love you…” and add the words “until” or “except when you…” or worse, the next words are “but”… or… “however” – always seem to be tied to a list of conditions. In the end it appear it’s the most “human” kind of love. Sure, erotic love like lust/desire can create a spark- it can even be interpreted as the kind of love that is give/take. In fact it seems like in today’s world Eros-type of love often gets identified as a more sincere type of love.

But how many of us can say we have experienced that Agape love in our lives? The totally unconditional love that has no ties or conditions. How do we ever attain that love in our lives? As soon as we “expect” it we have already provided a condition. When we attempt to provide it, there always seem to be boundaries to contain it.  Love of and for my children and my wife comes closer than I know toward that unconditional love.  Close family, relatives and dearest of friends can come close.

So as we search for the verb “to love” as unconditional one, we may fall short. In fact there is only One in the history of the world that I know of that provided the level of love that we all strive for. And for that, I am grateful.   So I ask my children, as they are looking for perfection in love, as they attempt perfection with their love – do it as purely as they can. Make each day count and each condition be one that reflects the goodness of love in its purest form.

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