Duluth/Gwinnett CPA Asks: Do You Love Others Unconditionally?
First, not sure what definition of unconditional love you are using. I believe unconditional love is “caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves.” It does not necessarily require a close proximity relationship or regular phone calls or any specific action on the part of either party. One person who I believe loves me unconditionally is someone I may see once a year. We have been friends for over 30 years and our lives have diverged and converged several times in that time period. I know that he is only a phone call away and that nothing I do will change his love for me (and the feeling is mutual.) He and his family are in my thoughts and prayers on a regular basis. I was talking with an employee yesterday who visited some of her family over the week-end. Her comment was they are strange and have widely different ideas than I do but they are my family and I love them in spite of all that.
I think with our kids it begins with dependent love and hopefully emerges into unconditional love. IT cannot be unconditional until we give them a reason to make a choice to love us in spite of our shortcomings.
Second thing is – One of the neat things about my father living to 87 is that I had a 60+ year adult relationship with him. I think an adult relationship with our parents is a really cool thing. I saw a large number of my friends parents who did not allow this adult relationship to develop, either because they did not know how to develop it or they wanted to continue to control their kids. . With my kids from 25-32 my adult relationships are developing and I am enjoying them tremendously. I see a number of my friends also who blame their kids for not allowing it to develop. Sometimes I have to consciously know that I am working towards that with how I treat my kids and their ideas. I took lots of advice from my Dad but he did not make my decisions for me. I have to apply that to my kids now also. Sometimes my kids ask for advice and sometimes I just give it, but I am ok with it when they do something different.
As far as two people turning out so different, my experience is that they came into this world different and although we as parents raised and treated them the same it took differently to each because they were unique individuals. It seems that with your daughter you are putting the condition on the love that she must only love you if she includes your more in her life. And with your son you are putting the condition that he listen to you on his love.
In short you are worrying about whether your kids love you unconditionally when all you should really worry about is that you love them unconditionally. Your unconditional love should not be dependent on whether they love you unconditional. That would be a condition.
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