One day I heard a writer hold forth on Oprah about unconditional love. He had written a book about it and I am sure if you Googled the phrase, you would see it one of the favorite buzz phrases of metaphysical and romance writers today.
Once I used the phrase in a group of friends and some of them said, “There is no such thing.” They began to recite all the conditions their parents and former husbands and wives had put on the measly amounts of love bestowed upon them. Maybe they are right but let’s at least give it a minute of our thought today.
I recall one person telling me the only unconditional love we would ever experience in this life would be from our animal pets. He must have meant dogs. Anyone who has ever had a cat knows they have never even heard the phrase “unconditional love.” If you don’t love them exactly as they wish to be loved, they’ll pout or claw your eyes out. I love them but I am not going to lie for them.
Dogs come a little closer to loving unconditionally. Still, I would not recommend you try to take a bone away from one when he is savoring it real well. He might unconditionally bare his teeth and growl – even bite you.
One thing I know for certain: hummingbirds are not unconditional lovers. One flew up to my window one morning when I was slow getting his sugar water to him and gave me an unconditional cussing. I had to go to my Dictionary of Foul Fowl Language to look up some of his words.
Where then can we go to experience just a smidgen of this miraculous potion? Shall we never experience it and be left to wander across the desert of life, belly-diving into every mirage our fevered brain thinks is a pool of it?
I think unconditional love is so strong we can only stand a drop or two of it at a time. Absolutely nothing is perfect in this world unless you are one of those advanced souls who have learned to love it all as it is. So let us adjust our unconditional love expectation level downward from a pool to a few drops. Then we have a chance now and then to receive a drop of it on the end of our parched tongues just when we need it most.
Isn’t that better than feeling guilty about some incredible person bestowing a stream of it on us all the time? We know very well we don’t deserve that level of perfect love because we are often imperfect, undeserving. thoughtless jerks?
You show me someone who has never been an imperfect, undeserving, thoughtless jerk and I will show you a person who just arrived from another planet.
I know a woman who has steadfastly loved a man who has done everything to her except run her down with a tractor-trailer truck. In the words of one of my songs, “He hit her heart like a tractor-trailer hits a possum on a rainy night.” Over and over.
I’ll be honest with you: I cannot do that for anyone. To say I could would be to lie like a dirty egg-sucking hound.
One day I asked her how she did it. She said, “His mother didn’t really love him and as far as I can tell, no one ever has. I think everyone in this world life needs at least one person to love him or her as they are. I decided to be that person for him.”
She and my dog Brownie make me believe that unconditional love is a possibility. I want to believe in it. I need to believe in it even if I never fully experience it. So far, just an occasional drop on two on the tip of my parched tongue has kept me spasmodically satisfied.
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