I requested Google to define “Unconditional Love”. Below you will find the exact copy of what the first response was. I did not click on any of the highlighted, or otherwise special words or passages. I have copied the square that showed up in its’ entirety.
“According to the book Real Love, unconditional love is, in essence, truelove — so different from the kind of love most of us have known all our lives that it deserves a definition of its own. Unconditional love is caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves.Mar 6, 2012
Just the mention of the two words, “Unconditional–Love” can make a person become uneasy with their situation and surroundings. A person could do a survey and ask any number of people what they thought the two words meant, and get the same number of different, although possibly similar in some ways, answers as the number of people that were asked the question. It’s just life. Short of a specific question such as a date and time of some incident, no two people will have the exact answer to any question or thought about some topic. Identical twins might be the only exception to this statement.
Now for some what may be pertinent information about me. This may prove helpful in understanding some of the reasoning for my comments later in this post.
From the time, when I was a toddler in Sunday School and Church, I have been told a few things to try to always do, and they are:
1. Treat others like you want them to treat you. More commonly called “The Golden Rule” – “Do unto others as you would that they should do also unto you.”
2. Always turn the other cheek. Just because someone is mean to you doesn’t mean that you have to be mean back to them.
3. We are all brothers and sisters in God’s, eyes and should love each other as such.
4. If you have the power to, always help out someone in need.
5. A quote that changed my life forever: “Happy is the child that God corrects for he has found favor in the sight of the Lord.” Translated for me to mean that if your parents discipline and correct you, they do it because they love you. If they didn’t love you, then they wouldn’t care what you do, and they would let you do anything that you wanted to do. That means even get into trouble with the law.
Here go my comments.
1. I have always thought that unconditional love only meant that you loved someone else regardless of anything that they do or any faults or disabilities that they may have.
This would obviously include practicing the “Golden Rule”. If you want someone to be nice to you, then be nice to them. If you are in need in any way and would want someone else to be helpful to you, then be helpful to them. Like if you were sick and needed some to cook meals for you or clean for you, if they are sick, then cook and clean for them. If you are not physically able to do it yourself, then try to find someone that is. If you want other people to keep their promises to you, then you need to keep your promises to them. And so on. The list could go on forever.
2. It is very hard to turn the other cheek. As hard as someone may try to do it, sometimes it is just impossible. Whether or not you can turn the other cheek depends on each individual situation. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t, I’m just saying that sometimes we just don’t have the power to do it at that moment. Other times we can turn the other cheek all day and never think about it again, other than to be proud of ourself that we did it and therefore avoided an argument.
Just because someone is always sarcastic and can never be serious about much of anything, it doesn’t mean that you should not love them. By the same token, just because they have different views from you doesn’t mean they are unlovable. If they don’t like the same things that you do, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t love them. Even if they fuss you out for not wanting to, or liking to, go where they go, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t love them. No matter how many times your “friends” fuss at you for wanting to do something different from them, or not wanting to go where they want to go, it doesn’t mean that you don’t or shouldn’t love them. After all “Love should be unconditional.”, and this goes both ways. Nor does unconditional love mean that you can’t feel upset and offended by what they say or do to you, unless of course they are violent with you. So why should you always feel guilty when they disagree with anybody on anything and have an argument about it. Why should you always feel like you are not loving them unconditionally. If you still stay their friend, and you still love them. you do not need to always feel guilty for having your own opinion and liking what you like if anything is not the same as theirs is.
The answer as I see it is that you shouldn’t feel that way. you have a right to your own likes and your own opinions, period. If your so call them “friends” don’t like it, it is their problem. As long as you continue to love them unconditionally, then it is up to them to accept that love or to refuse it. It is also up to them whether or not they love you back. This is what free will is all about. You don’t need to beat yourself up just because someone else gets upset with you because you don’t like what they like, or want to go where they want to go. They need to be able to accept you the same way as you accept them regardless of any differences. If you continue to feel uneasy around them, then maybe it’s time to realize and accept that they are the way they are, and they obviously are not going to change. To love them unconditionally means that you accept them for their faults, as well as any other things that may be upsetting to you. By this time it should be obvious to you that they do not practice unconditional love the same as you do. If you are willing to accept the one sided relationship, then more power to you, and continue on with your life. But it will be necessary to pray for the strength to accept anything that they dish out, and the power to not let it upset you.
Even though I have also heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never harm me.”, it’s not true!!!!! What do you think bullying is all about? It’s about the constant taunting of one person by another person or persons. Many a person has committed suicide because of such taunting. The bully/bullies have to taunt the smaller person, or the not so beautiful person, or the not as rich person, just to make himself/herself feel bigger. So what? They were able to make someone else cry. This is not being bigger, it’s just actually being smaller. The more mean things you say about another person, the smaller that makes you look to any other people that are not part of the bullying crowd.
Some things are better left unsaid. Once they have left your mouth and fallen on the other person’s ears, they can never be taken back. This goes for having been written down and mailed, or given to the other person in person. Once the other person receives whatever message or statement that you sent in whatever type of media, it can never be taken back. Many a family has been broken up and friendship ended because of just what I pointed out happening. Unfortunately I have learned my lesson the hard way by having done it. I have never gotten over it, but that nasty thing called temper got the best/worst (I have heard it both ways and don’t know which one is correct) of me. I also have been on the receiving end of it as well. The relationship between my oldest sister and myself will never be the same because of it, and it hurts to no end.
It is very hard to turn the other cheek. As hard as someone may try to do it, sometimes it is just impossible. Whether or not you can turn the other cheek depends on each individual situation. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t, I’m just saying that sometimes we just don’t have the power to do it at that moment. Other times we can turn the other cheek all day and never think about it again, other than to be proud of ourself that we did it and therefore avoided an argument. Put yourself in their place. Would you like to be treated like that and left alone because of a deformity or some ugly scars? I don’t think so. You would want to be accepted and loved the same as they do. This too is a part of unconditional love.
3. Treat each other as a brother and/or a sister. If a person, such as your brother or sister, was born with birth defects, it doesn’t mean that you should turn away from them, or that they are untouchable. Quite the opposite. They need more love than most people simply because most other people will turn them away and not care about them at all. They deserve love just as much as anyone else does. Does a person’s deformity or scar make their heart any less loving? NO!!!! The outside is not what makes the person. It is what is in their heart that makes them who they are. Would you turn away your brother or sister? I don’t think so. At least I wouldn’t. You would have to be a mighty cold hearted person to turn them away.
Like the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”, or “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.” I have heard it both ways an equal number of times to the point that I don’t actually know what the original saying was, but it still means the same thing. It’s not what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside that counts.
When we start to judge other people, we should think about what we would do if they were our brother or sister. If we wouldn’t think ill of our brother or sister about whatever it is that we are upset with the other person about, then we should just leave the situation alone. Leave the judging up to the judge of the court. This is hard to do many times, but it is what we are supposed to do. If we would treat others with the same love as we treat our own brothers and sisters, maybe then there wouldn’t be so much violence in the world. There would be more peace and love. The world would be much safer too.
4. Whenever we see others in need, we should always try to help. We may not always be physically and/or financially able to give the person in need help personally.If this is the case, then we can at least offer to put the person in need in touch with someone or some organization that may be able to help them in any ways that they may need help.
5. Since my first Stepfather beat and abused me more than any of the other children in the family, I convinced myself that he did it because he loved me the most. This action on my part made it possible for me to survive many years of beatings and other forms of abuse, until I was taken away from my family never to return again. After all I was a child, and a child cannot generally take up for his or her self.
In summary, we need to love each other regardless of how the other person is. This is true unless they are physically abusive to us. There is such a thing as self defense. Who will it help if we allow ourself to be killed in the name of love? We make our own decision to love others unconditionally. If the other person does not believe in or practice unconditional love, then we have to decide if we are able to accept that the other person is not going to treat us the same way that we treat them. Sometimes, and probably most of the time, unconditional love is one way. Most people do not believe in, or that it is even possible to have unconditional love, period. I, myself always try to practice it. I do not always succeed, but I do always try.