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How can I love unconditionally but clearly feel better about some things the loved one does over others, which can really pull me down? I didn’t understand this conundrum intellectually or experientially until I stumbled upon the distinction between conditions and preferences. Conditional love or conditional trust says I can love you as long as you do this and don’t do that. If you do this or don’t do that I will love you less or stop loving you all together.
A preference on the other hand is ‘I prefer if you express your love or if you touch me lovingly but if these preferences are not met, I still love you. If something happens that tempts me to love you less, I will always try to see your perspective and understand my part in what is happening. Our love is more important than that I can hold on to my reflexive reactions, insecurities and fears.