We might be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.
It’s not going to stop until you wise up.
–Aimee Mann/Wise Up
Conditional love is:
I will only love you if you love me.
Unconditional love is:
I will love you even if you do not love me.
It’s really easy to love passing strangers unconditionally.
They demand nothing of you.
It is really hard to love people unconditionally when they can hurt you.
–Amanda Palmer/the Art of Asking
It is hard to love someone unconditionally even when they haven’t ever hurt you. People tend to really want someone to love them first. It is even harder to love people unconditionally when they have hurt you before. Harder still when they know they are hurting you and don’t try to stop, or maybe it doesn’t feel like they try hard enough to stop. Or even, maybe most of all, when you know they care about you and they still don’t stop and maybe they can’t. Or just don’t want to.
You can’t make people want you.
You can’t make people stop hurting you.
All anyone can do is the best they can.
All you can do is be you. Be open to everything. Be trusting.
Sometimes, that isn’t enough. Sometimes it’s who they are that hurts you.
If one person thinks honesty and factual are synonyms and the other thinks honesty means sharing much more than answering questions factually..there will be problems. There are bound to be, and one of you will not understand why the other doesn’t trust him.
It is difficult to maintain a love that is unconditional when there is a problem with trust. You start to think you will love him if he starts to behave differently. If he starts being more open. Or that he will love you if you are more something or less something. And it can’t ever work that way.
Maybe that is the same as only loving them if they become someone else. Or maybe they are just a dick who can’t be trusted who doesn’t love you back.
When it hurts enough, you have to admit that you need to move on. You can love unconditionally, but you can’t trust unconditionally. Well, I can’t. I can make trust my default setting, but if you stand me up and tell me only the factual truth and omit everything that is really going on in your life? If you stop talking entirely? Even if you have really great reasons for some of it, if I don’t ultimately trust in you or your intentions, it doesn’t really matter how deep the bond is.
Because loving someone unconditionally doesn’t mean you have to let them continue hurt you. You have to love yourself, first. If I love you, I will love you with no strings attached. Freely given. If you love me back, I will take all the love you give me. I will have complete faith in you.
If you hurt me on occasion, that is just part of life. The tax for being human.
If you hurt me repeatedly, without knowing, that might be something I can live with.
If you hurt me a few times, even on purpose, I will forgive and move past it. I will keep trusting you, or try to.
At a certain point, though, given enough instances in which someone hurts me on purpose, I will no longer be able to trust them. I might continue to try, for various reasons. I don’t know if trust is reparable once it is broken. It would take a lot of work. Work that someone who would hurt me over and over would be pretty unlikely to do.
It is difficult and painful to admit that you love someone who can’t be trusted or who is simply wrong for you. We love people with our hearts wide open, and when someone takes advantage of that, it is doubly painful. There’s the pain of loss, and the pain of admitting to yourself that you were wrong about someone you love. And if you are like me, you will continue loving them in spite of the hurt, and in spite of their actions…and really struggle about when and if you should let go.
The balance, I guess, is in giving people a chance but not so many chances that you can no longer respect yourself.
Balance, we know, is hard for me.
So is not getting what I want.