Is there such a thing as uncond-itional love? Is it really possible to love someone warts and all, despite their many infuriating flaws and faults, and not walk away in disgust at one enraging quirk too many? However much we love someone, aren’t we always full of secret ifs and buts and maybes?
I think unconditional love is very possible – unless there’s some serious wrongdoing involved. Most character traits are livable with if you’re sufficiently tolerant and flexible, however weird or annoying they might be. There’s not much that’s genuinely impossible to handle. Unless the other person is a serial rapist, or terrorist, or bank robber, or pathological liar, most personal behaviour can be adjusted to.
There are several people I love to bits, and I think I do love them warts and all, however nasty or vicious they can sometimes be. I can live with their unreliability, bitchiness, amnesia, wild emotion, paranoia, or grumpiness, because I love them as a person and well, those traits are just part of the person so I absorb them along with everything else. I don’t pick and choose what I accept and what I don’t.
Of course I’m probably fooling myself. The people concerned will no doubt say that my love isn’t as all-embracing as I imagine, that there are loads of things I recoil from or get judgmental about, loads of things they keep secret or raise very cautiously in case I throw a wobbly.
I think unconditional love is not that common. Certainly there have been plenty of people in my life who have given the impression of loving me wholeheartedly but in reality their reservations were rampant. Starting with my father, who always maintained he loved me but in practice really wanted me to be just like him.
When it comes down to it, many seemingly tolerant people are actually hideously judgmental and would clearly like to change everything about me if they had the chance. I can see them bristling and steaming at my every utterance. Not many people truly accept me for what I am.
Unconditional love is not easy when we’re all so full of preconceptions and assumptions and fixed ideas, but it’s possible. And when it does happen, it’s a very beautiful thing.