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If You Think Love Is Always Uncontrollable, You Don’t Understand Love

If You Think Love Is Always Uncontrollable, You Don’t Understand Love

Today, it seems, we have an incredible amount of expectation of one another. The idea of unconditional love seems to have fallen by the wayside, as more and more of us want love, but are ill-prepared to give or even receive it.

To love someone under any circumstance is a true test of unconditional loving, and although it may seem simple, it is probably one of the toughest attributes to possess. This kind of love requires an unconditional love of yourself first, so you can have the strength of heart and mind to give the same to another human being. This is where we fall down.

Within our society there seems to be so much pressure to be perfect that to love ourselves has become a pretty hard task to achieve, but it is the key to total, unconditional love of all others.

Unconditional love is to love someone no matter what life throws at us.

What is love? According to the book Real Love: The Truth About Finding Unconditional Love and Fulfilling Relationships,[1] unconditional love is true love. It is caring about another person’s happiness without demanding for any benefits for themselves.

It is not unconditional love when someone likes you only because you can give them what they want. It is also not unconditional love when someone only loves you under certain circumstances, say when you’re happy, healthy or rich.

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Unconditional love also means accepting another person for who they are, their faults and weaknesses.

There are conditions though, no one should tolerate in a loving relationship.

Unconditional love does not mean “I love you if you hurt me.”[2]

Unconditional love doesn’t mean you should accept truly hurtful and toxic behaviors. When hurt comes in continuously, or when abuse and cheating are involved, commitment should end.

Unconditional love is never easy; but with a little bit of practice, it’s reachable.

If you’ve never received unconditional love, it can become hard to then give it out. Below are seven ways you can practice how to love in this way and truly change your life.

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1. Love is not how you feel, it is more about how you act.

Try to think of love in this way and you won’t go far wrong. If you treat love as a feeling, when you are getting something from someone else and then you stop getting it then your feelings will change along with your behavior. An example of this is when you try to be someone you aren’t, or perhaps you have to do something in order to receive love: these then make love conditional.

However, if you start to act a certain way and are not requiring someone else to be something they are not, then that love is unconditional. Your love is not based on what someone else does or says, which means you can continue to act the same way regardless of how other people behave.

2. Adapt your love to others.

Love is received and given to others in many different forms and, unfortunately, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy.

Unconditional love is a conscious decision you make every day and in every new situation that comes along. There are no rules laid out for everyone, you apply it person by person.

3. Give unconditionally to yourself.

If you are a people pleaser, which many of us tend to be, you’ll be more interested in giving love to others rather than to yourself.

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The love you give to others will not be unconditional, because you’ll be allowing how they make you feel rule how much love you want to return to them. This is not unconditional.

However, if you are constantly pleasing others you are lacking self-love. So give yourself unconditional love first, and the rest will come.

4. Love can sometimes be uncomfortable.

To truly love someone, you have to be able to take the rough with the smooth, and in this instance trying to protect someone from being uncomfortable is not a sign of unconditional love.

Pain and growth are part of life and shielding them from this is not love—if you only set out to make them feel satisfied and happy all the time you will do more harm than good!

Unconditional love requires you to let them experience pain so that they will find their own way and grow at their own pace.

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5. Learn forgiveness.

This isn’t about allowing someone to wipe their feet all over you; it’s about choosing to react in a better way, a kinder way for yourself.

If someone has hurt you or let you down, choose forgiveness by letting go of the anger and resentment you have towards them. How you act towards a specific person will change depending on what has happened, but if you choose to act lovingly and not hold on to negative feelings, you will love them unconditionally.

6. Show love to those whom you think don’t deserve it.

Normally when someone else is negative towards you or about you, it’s likely that these people lack something in their own life that prevent them from truly loving themselves. If you see this before you react, and put yourself in their shoes, it can help you in the situation because you know deep inside it is more to do with them than with you. It’s here where you decide to give unconditional love and give it more frequently.

Being this way will provide a good pay off for the toxic people around you, but most importantly, for you, too.

7. Practice unconditional love with a simple act every day.

Try to do this at least once a day: give something and not be wanting anything in return. It can be letting someone through a door first, giving way to another car in a traffic jam, or telling someone you love them without expecting to hear it back in return.

Do something every day and I promise—even though you don’t want anything in return—you’ll get a huge amount of pleasure from just giving unconditional love.

Reference

More by this author

Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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