When we are children, we receive love when we do something ‘right’ – when we clean our bedroom, when we share with our siblings, when we use our manners.
Fast-forward 20 years into adulthood, how does this lesson in love translate? At what point are we taught what unconditional love is?
For me, that point was thirty three; a period of complete upheaval, where I threw everything in the air and pressed ‘pause’.
And when I pressed ‘play’, I began catching the things I wanted, and let the rest fall away.
The first thing I caught was me.
I realized that if I couldn’t love and accept myself, how could I possibly expect anyone else to?
If I couldn’t stand for myself, and my values, how could I stand for anything, or anyone, else?
And the first thing I let fall away, was fear.
I realized that I was sick of hiding parts of me that I thought people wouldn’t like, or couldn’t handle.
It made me question who it was that people say they love when they say they love me. They didn’t even know me. I didn’t know me.
Unconditional love takes courage. It starts within, and it’s not an easy path. But it is a rewarding adventure, especially when you see that people love the parts of you that you were fearful of them ever seeing.