Care and support are based on unconditional love. If, as children, we didn't feel loved unconditionally, it may be hard to recognize and accept unconditional love when others offer it to us. If our being loved hinged on how we were useful to our families, we may hold our breath and wait for the other shoe to drop when someone says, "I love you." We wonder, What will I have to do to deserve this? or What is this going to cost me?
If we had to accept long ago that adult needs came ahead of ours, we questioned love and support to ensure our survival. Now we will have to learn to believe in unconditional love and that may take awhile. But we can do it and the better we learn to accept unconditional love for ourselves, the better we will be able to offer it to our children.
"I am loved, I am lovable, I am loving." These are the unconditional love decisions. Here are some personal rules that flow from these decisions:
- I accept love freely.
- There is an infinite supply of love.
- I give love freely.
- I surround myself with loving people.
- I protect myself from unloving people.
Growing Up Again: Parenting ourselves, parenting our children by Jean I. Clarke and Connie Dawson