Unconditional love is something I probably will never totally understand. I have problems even with the basic idea of love, let alone having it with no conditions attached, but even with that being the case, that is the main topic of today’s post. Let’s start with a more general discussion of trying to understand the perplexity of unconditional love, and then I will talk about it at a personal level.
I have no children but I suppose most parents give unconditional love to their children. I also realize that actions of the off-spring can become so strained that even this parent/child relationship comes with conditions, sometimes serious conditions. I’ve personally seen it happen with family members and friends.
People with serious addictions often have family just give up on them. They are tired of the thefts of their money to support the addiction, but mostly they are exhausted with the emotional strain is puts on their lives. Then there are some who are raised by parents with serious behavior problems. The kids can’t wait to get out of those circumstances. I know I lost a half-sister to suicide because of a narcissist mother who couldn’t show her the love she so desperately sought.
On a spiritual level, they say that God, at least the Christian version of him, has agape love for all of us. He loves us all the same love without any conditions attached. That is a very comforting proclamation, but what about the infant who dies falling in the bathtub. How can God allow the death of that child and still say he loves the child and maybe even more seriously the parents who will agonize over that death for their entire lives.
How can God allow millions to parish due to the unimaginable cruelty of a dictator. If everything is God’s will then he must condone even these actions. I know some answer that with “God works in mysterious ways”, but does anyone really buy into that excuse? Especially if they are on the receiving end of unimaginable agony?
Getting to this on a personal Aspie focused level, is it really possible for ANYONE to have unconditional love?
From an Aspie standpoint, let’s start off with a quote from Psychology Today:
Many people with Asperger’s find emotions messy and confusing. They struggle with expressing their emotions appropriately and often come across as unemotional or uncaring. In a piece for “Psychology Today,” Asperger’s sufferer Lynne Soraya notes that people with Asperger’s have trouble with emotional regulation. They are often able to detach during a crisis situation, but might express their feelings explosively later. They often get stuck in their own heads, swimming in a pool of deep emotions that they feel powerless to express. To avoid triggering an extreme or inappropriate emotional reaction, they keep the discussion logical. They focus on the facts surrounding love rather than presenting an emotionally laden declaration filled with unknown innuendos and hidden meanings.
I can see myself in much of the description above. Strong emotions are just not who I am and I guess love is the strongest emotion there is? I know I had great empathy for my father. He struggled with low self-esteem all his life. He just had no confidence in his abilities. He, like many in his generation just didn’t show emotions to any degree. I respected him greatly. He had life circumstances that I likely would have buckled under. If I have loved anyone it was probably my father.
I care dearly for my wife and I want to do whatever I can to make her life comfortable. We, especially now, seem to disagree on almost everything but that is ok. We take care of each other when the need arises. Maybe that is love, maybe not… But real unconditional love I will NEVER understand.