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What Is Love and What Is Not

What Is Love and What Is Not

Yes! Unconditional love really exists and it’s not just a myth. But, it’s only understood when we first make attempt to understand what conditional love is.

Today, everyone speaks of love like it is a dice. Hardly do we make attempt to know the content of the word “LOVE” beyond just the written 4 LETTERS. A few of us who claim to know the meaning of this word only speak of its emotional connection with our being and or its chemical drive when we’re with the opposite sex.

Don’t get it confused… there’s “Conditional and Unconditional Love” and below we’ll examine the differences and help us identify unconditional love.

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Conditional Love: You Expect a Recompense for Every Action in Proportion to Your Emotional or Material Input

Have you been in a relationship where you expect a recompense for every action in proportion to your emotional or material input?

For example, you can find numerous online dating platforms today where individuals profile their personality and go for a hunt for suitable partners sharing similar traits or simply possessing desired traits they call the “Perfect Match”. This is especially evident in Sugar daddy/Sugar babies dating in numerous platforms where Rich men or women (single or married) seek emotional dependence, companionship and or sexual satisfaction from the younger men or ladies and in turn either pay their bills or just guarantee their material satisfaction and vise versa. This is a give and take process and of course, as long as each partner gets satisfaction, the relationship continues and each feels a great sense of fulfillment.

This means there’s an opposite emotion for this love, which is ‘Hatred’. Once one of the lovers’ defaults in giving or taking according to their proportion, the love may die or even turn to hatred. Here, you know your limit, what you stand to give and take and at what proportion. Each individual feels like a superman and controls the other when it’s their turn to either give or take, and there’s nothing more than mutual satisfaction. You aren’t looking for someone with whom to share your whole-self with but just someone to complete you. This is a conditional love.

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I discover my dad shows me more love and affection anytime I do exactly as he bids me even when they are against my own will and happiness. This simply means there’s a withdrawal of affection whenever he follows his own will or just considers his happiness and the force behind his action. Of course, this is a conditional love.

On the contrary,

Unconditional Love: You Accept the Whole Person

Unconditional love is often misinterpreted by many people. They simply use this as a wrong reason to continue in an unfavorable relationship or simply persuade someone into managing them. Even when they aren’t sure what it is, they misuse it for some ideal they seek after like you hear they say; “I believe in loving people before they can come to love themselves”. Some even go as far to say “they’ll love unconditionally because they have a special belief”. This is a total mistake.

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Now let’s look at this… not “I love you even if you treat me bad” but “I love you whatever life gives”. If you critically examine these phrases, you’ll understand the second phrase means “in any condition of life I’ll love you”. This is unconditional love. What keeps couples together is not the places they visited or the things they do in common but their responses when there’s a challenge to overcome. That you love someone unconditionally doesn’t mean you don’t feel disappointed at their actions sometimes and being disappointed at them doesn’t mean your affection is reduced or withdrawn. You simply just fulfill the fact that you’re a human.

Unconditional love is simply defined by experts as affection without conditions or limitations (eternal love). In other terms, it is called complete love. But, people commonly refer to this love as ‘deep love’ or the affection you feel for someone that you can go any length to make them happy.

Generally, all lovers refer to this love but what they actually have is conditional love. A clear understanding of unconditional love will reveal you the ultimate power of self-acceptance because this is its foundation for a healthy and long-term relationship success. Its source is the spirit and it springs out from everyone without expecting anything in return to qualify for it.

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You don’t have to do anything to please anyone to accept you or show you affection nor do you expect anything from anyone. But, does this mean we simply accept and agree with everyone on everything even when it offends us? No. It means we respect, show kindness, cooperation and display affection to everyone and everything around us including our pets. This love is part of us and it’s us.

Real love is about self-acceptance

Unconditional love is spiritual, self-acceptance [1], self-forgiving, mental wellness, harmony and beauty and emotional balance. If you lack any of these, you may battle with conditional love for the rest of your life.

What about forgiving others when you can’t forgive yourself? Can you cooperate with others either if you can’t accept them first? Just the same way you can’t show true affection for someone you expect to behave just exactly as you want them to because they need something from you. Only with these characteristics you can feel the beauty of unconditional love. This doesn’t mean both individuals doesn’t give or take anything or doesn’t benefit anything at all, but it’s simply out of self-will and its blessing flows from within on anything it comes in contact with.

When you know the real meaning of love, a lot of relationship problems wouldn’t appear in the first place

It’s very important that you understand what unconditional love is and this will help you to overcoming many relationship challenges. When you fail to understand the concept of this love, you’ll often feel betrayed out of your expectations. Also, people who mistake this love for the opposite “conditional love” often seem to appear as perfectionists and find it very difficult to accept everybody they come in contact with except for selected the few with whom they expect mutual satisfaction. Because they are rewarded for doing things right by whom it was demanded, they grow up with the mindset that everyone must be like them, or they are inferior or fake and end up being treated as they treat others. This brings hatred and unnatural affection.

Truly, understanding this concept brings healing, divine beauty, harmony and pure kindness to everything we come in contact with.

Reference

[1] Psychcentral: 12 ways to accept yourself first

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MICHAEL LILY

Writer/entrepreneural development specialist

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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