Confession: It’s difficult for me to accept unconditional love. Sometimes, it’s really difficult. Unless you’re my mother, I can’t imagine a situation where I would ever deserve someone’s love without restraint, rules, or boundaries. It’s simply unfathomable to me.
In fact, for years, I doubted such a thing even existed. I remember pensive late nights in my teenage years (must have been a day that ended in “Y”) rolling the question around in my mind. Is unconditional love possible? If it is, is it healthy? A million scenarios flashed and fluttered as variables to work into the equation. Cheating, lies, violence, betrayal–do those all merit unconditional love? I decided somewhere between age 15 and 18 that they didn’t.
But then a funny thing happened: unconditional love found me, not as a recipient but as a gifter of it. Helplessly and without end, I poured affection, kind words, and support out to those closest to me–even after they doused my heart in gasoline and tossed the match, sometimes simply to watch it burn. That’s the thing about hearts, you see. They love senselessly with abandon, and even a charred heart of ashes beats with that love.
So if I can give unconditional love this freely, why am I so hesitant to receive it? Why do I examine it in disbelief and wonder, waiting for it to crumble into dust in my hands?
Perhaps it’s this idea that I am forever a work in progress, and a work in progress needs something to keep it motivated. Unconditional love is a rather finite end; how does one transcend that level of caring? Where’s the journey there?
Maybe I’m afraid of taking unconditional love for granted. Maybe I’m scared of someone loving me that completely. But I think, mostly, I’m scared of becoming lazy in earning someone’s love…. even if it doesn’t take much to earn my own.