It is a word so often used and misused.  We can always say “I love you” to anyone and everyone without really understanding the true meaning of love.  When we were young, love is associated with that special someone-the guy who makes our heart pound so fast whenever he is around.  As we become adults, love is our family.  The true meaning of love is found in the word “unconditional”.  You love a person despite the flaws and differences. To love someone unconditionally is loving the person exactly as they are, what they were before and what they will become.  Since people change as time passes, loving them means you accept them even if they become a person you disagree with.  How many parents can truly say this about their kids? How many can truly say they love their partners unconditionally despite the pain they caused? Love isn’t about what you can get out of it or what the other person can give you.  It is not about you feeling “proud” of what they have achieved or how they are always agreeable with everything you say or do and never does anything to disagree with you.  Unconditional love means the person can live their life exactly how they choose and you will always be there for them no matter what happens.

No one is perfect.  This is what I always tell myself in regards to the people I love in my life.  I am not perfect either.  Sometimes we wish that we exist in a world where there is no pain, no mistakes, and no wrong decisions so we can avoid hurting the people we love most.  How simple it is if we can always live up to the expectations of people closest to our hearts.  To be a good daughter, a caring sister, a supportive mother, a loving wife or a trusted friend yet, once in a while we fall short of these expectations and we hurt others.  In the process, we hurt ourselves too.

I have been blessed that I have found unconditional love in God.  For the past years of my life, I have strayed away from my Christian belief and faith because of human weaknesses yet, He never gave up on me.  God has given me chances for change every day of my life.  Constantly reminding me through the many trials I face that I have Someone who loves me despite all my flaws and imperfections.  He accepts me every time I called out His name and asked for forgiveness.  How do I know He loves me unconditionally? I know it because I feel it in my very soul.  There’s a certain peace in my heart despite the tumulus of negative emotions that keeps eating me alive.  Because of His unconditional love, I have learned to love others unconditionally–my partner, my children and myself.

My husband is not perfect.  He has his own weaknesses and demons yet I know he has more good in him than his flaws. There is no perfect partnership and it will take years of adjustments and mistakes for us to achieve a long-lasting relationship.   My children are not perfect either.  They are their own person with unique individuality that only a mother loves and accepts.  I should not place them in the context of children who are or should be “good” kids.  I cannot shield them from making their own mistakes or making the wrong decisions in their lives but I know deep down (and they know this too) that whatever happens, they have a mother always to come home to. I am not perfect either.  I should stop living up to the expectations of people around me because the more I want to, the more I fall short of it.  I should stop berating myself if I cannot make other people proud of me with the simplicity of life I have or the decisions I make.  I should love myself–flaws, fats and weaknesses included.

For me, true love loves unconditionally.  God loves me unconditionally and I in return, should love unconditionally