I discovered this poem on the internet some years ago. I have kept it with me, because it is, to me, the best definition of unconditional love I have seen. If any one knows who the author is, please advise, so that I can give the proper credit.
What is unconditional love?
It strikes me as this,
The ability to always accept
Loved ones as individual
Human beings, human beings with
Singular dispositions and traits
That may waver at times,
Depending upon personal circumstances,
But doesn’t make that person
Harmful, evil or bad, just human.
What is NOT unconditional love?
Being automatically used in disguise,
Taken for granted and advantage of,
And constantly accepting and denying
Mistreatment as isolated incidents,
Or continually letting and forgiving someone
For always doing me wrong
Because they NEVER change their ways
Does not constitute the grounds
Of unconditional love in my eyes.
Unconditional love to me,
Is the ability to differentiate
Between when a person’s
Contrary actions directed towards me
Are honestly or intentionally abnormal,
And accepting my dear beings
At their best, lovable dispositions,
During their dark, depressing moments,
And throughout their mood swings,
Because these changes happen at times.
Sometimes it’s the hardest thing,
To stand and deal with someone,
When it seems like they are
Depending upon or burdening you purposely
Because they are hopelessly frustrated
With their own personal issues,
But the way to tell if
Someone is genuinely relying on me
Is by knowing them well
And understanding who they are.
A bond that is severed,
Is one that never existed.
To err and to fluctuate dispositions,
Is natural and is human.
To embody and practice unconditional love,
Is to know which persons
This is appropriate to apply to
And treat them as such,
Realizing who they themselves are
As human beings and individuals.
A hard lesson to learn
Is sometimes when people say
Things that hurt or insult
Me at that particular time
Is to not take it personally
Based on their current demeanor
Or attitude from whatever trial
And tribulation they’re going through
Because they may not mean it
At that particular time.
The sidewalk isn’t always dry,
But when it occasionally gets slippery,
That doesn’t change its underlying structure.
A person may experience some strife
Which can temporarily transform them
Into non-desirable, annoying creatures,
But when we realize they’re human,
And understand them as individuals,
We’ll know they aren’t harming us
And we can show them unconditional love.