September 20 – Unconditional Love – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Unconditional love is not so much about how we receive and endure each other, as it is about the deep vow to never, under any condition, stop bringing the flawed truth of who we are to each other.

Much is said about unconditional love today, and I fear that it has been misconstrued as an extreme form of “turning the other cheek,” which to anyone who has been abused is not good advice. However, this exaggerated passivity is quite different from the unimpeded flow of love that carries who we are.

In truth, unconditional love does not require a passive acceptance of whatever happens in the name of love. Rather, in the real spaces of our daily relationships, it means maintaining a commitment that no condition will keep us from bringing all of who we are to each other honestly.

For example, on any given day, I might be preoccupied with my own needs, and might overlook or bruise what you need and hurt you. But then you tell me and show me your hurt, and I feel bad, and  you accept that sometimes I go blind to those around me. But we look deeply on each other, and you accept my flaws, but not mybehavior, and I am grateful for the  chance to work on myself. Somehow, it all brings us closer.

Unconditional love is not the hole in us that receives the dirt, but the sun within that never stops shining.

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