For those parents out there who believe they give their children unconditional love, you really can’t unless you are giving unconditional love to yourself.
Think about your inner critic that is constantly judging and talking to you and telling you that you did or didn’t do enough to get love that day. Think about the critical thoughts (the “critic” program) that are running. Did I do enough today? Did I do enough on my to-do list? Did I do enough on my New Year resolutions? You will beat yourself up if you feel like you haven’t accomplished enough, and you feel like you don’t deserve the love. And if you are an overachiever and do get everything done, after all that performance, you still do not give yourself unconditional love.
What you’re teaching your children, and what you’re teaching yourself, is that you are not good enough for unconditional love. They learn from you by osmosis. They know your core programs at the deepest level. And while you may say that you love them unconditionally, if you consider yourself as broken, or diminished, or not able to love unconditionally, even though you are telling them that despite what they’ve done they are perfect humans, they get the message. They realize “No, I’m not perfect. No, I don’t get unconditional love.” And they will grow up and will be loving human beings like you but they will not love unconditionally. As a consequence, there will always be a hole in your heart.
Conditional love is that place where you are trying to get love, or feeling like you have to perform to get it. Most people – 90% of the world – stay in this place of conditional love for the remainder of their life. Conditional love is about giving and getting, saying things like “If I love you, I expect things back. If I perform, I want to be loved. In order for me to love you, you need to perform.”
In order to unconditionally love another, you must unconditionally love yourself first. Creating an unconditional loving space is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Unconditional love is merely a place of loving without conditions, with no exceptions, and with nothing in return.