Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

How Do You Love

By Jackie Stammen
October 7th, 2013
Laughs and Love (laughsandlove.com)

We are called to love unconditionally, but it's so easy to put conditions on how we choose to love people.

We are called to love unconditionally, but it's so easy to put conditions on how we choose to love people. Think about the one person in your life that you love more than anything. Do you love them unconditionally? I don't mean in the moments of pure happiness. It's easiest to love unconditionally then. What I mean is, do you really love them through their flaws rather than holding those flaws against them as you wait for a moment down the road when you'll hold it over their head in order to get what you want, prove a point, or garner your self-righteousness? Love is not a game with a scorecard. You don't earn points for doing loved ones a favor so at some point down the road you won't then have to love unconditionally for a moment. The opposite actions will not cancel one another out. It doesn't work that way. In love, there is no scorecard.

We all have moments where we lack grace, make poor decisions and just plain screw up. Typically, when I screw up I am fully aware of the mess I've created. Although, it's important to be pointed in the right direction and to grow from failure, it's also important to be accepted in your failure. When I've messed up and I know it, fifteen people telling me how stupid my actions were only puts me on the defense and closes my heart to most anything anyone else has to say. On the contrary, when I've messed up and someone chooses to love me unconditionally through it, I'm able to grow from my experience. If they show me love through my weaknesses, I'm able to listen to them with an open heart.

Often, we place conditions on relationships with friends, family members, spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends. We are loving when it's convenient for us to be loving. What about when it's difficult to love? What about when you just don't feel like giving of yourself? Those are the moments that matter the most. It's so easy to make excuses for ourselves, placing the blame on other people. What do we gain from that? Nothing, but we have a lot to lose. When we place conditions on our love for others, they tend to do it right back. Just because you choose to love someone unconditionally, it does not mean you give consent to their actions, it means you care for them in the deepest way possible that you are choosing to see past their flaws.

There is no loss with unconditional love.other than our pride.

Choose to love unconditionally.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)