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A quiet, peaceful sanctuary from the chaos of everyday living in a world on the brink of insanity! A place where we prepare for the worst, but hope for the best!

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Unconditional love...really?

I ended my last entry writing of love so today I will continue there....

In our society today we hear all the time of love, loving someone unconditionally...it has become a familiar phrase from pulpits across the county....We hear it from our family members, from our friends, there is even much about it on the internet...But what does it mean?

The last couple of months of my dads life were the hardest, but also the most awaking to me, for me....When I decided to just "love" him with no expectations a change in me took place...What I began to realize is I can't love him with stipulations or love him in the past or in the future....I had to love him right then, right there....where he was...I had to be mindful....For me being mindful means being in the moment...present...present to feel, see, hear, smell and love...I had to love him moment by moment....If I tried to the love the man of the past I failed...why? Because in all my human-ness I had resentment, anger and bitterness over what had been to us all those years ago...but when I found a place, a way in which I could look at him in that moment and see him for who he was I could love him unconditionally....When in that moment the daddy I loved as a very small child and told my mom I wanted to marry when I grew up, the man that could do no wrong in that 4 year olds eyes, that man that played with me, took me on horse back rides and taught me how plant corn...yes that man.....that was the man I loved without conditions....I had lost that over the years as hurt, anger and bitterness took hold in the wake of horrendous abuse...But in the moment, that 1 moment frozen in time I found the means to love him again...When he would lash out, which was becoming fewer and more far between, I simply over looked it and looked beyond the words into the heart of dying and hurting man...I began to understand he too was full of hurt, anger and regret...he too had been a very abused child at the hands of his mother...he never figured out how to overcome and to love and be loved...Somehow I had figured out love is what he needed...and I was willing to just love and let it all go...let it be...there was nothing that could change the past, nothing that could right all the wrongs...nothing that could change any of it...but what could change is that in the mans last days I could make a difference...

What I didn't realize is that I began this journey to love him for him, but it is me it truly changed....it changed me to the very core of my being...I began to understand so many things....What it meant to really live in the moment....what it mean to love without boundaries....what it meant to love someone in spite of their shortcomings....what it meant to be present for someone in spite of whats going on in your own life...What it means to feel empathy when someone suffers...what it means to truly want the best for someone even though they didn't give a crap about you for most of your life....I realized the TRUE meaning behind the words "unconditional love"....it truly is love without conditions attached...

Now, this is not saying that you should allow yourself to be abused,exploited or mistreated...if you are in a relationship, church or even at a job where you are being abused, exploited or mistreated in a serious way...you need to leave that situation immediately and get help!.....I am talking about loving someone, maybe even from afar that has done you wrong...You don't have to live with someone or even have them in your life to love them...I DO NOT and will not advocate abuse of any kind even in the name of love...that kind of love is not a healthy love and no one should subject themselves and their children to such atrocities.

So, with that said....

Across our nation these words are shouted everywhere we go...preachers pound the pulpit weekly pleading with us to love our neighbor as ourself, we are to be selfless and love like Jesus did...While this is all very true, how often do we really see this? I was shunned from a church that preached love weekly, love the sinner hate the sin and how they were known by outsiders as the church that loved...however when I did not conform to their rules, and I viewed the world a little differently and when my discernment stepped on their proverbial toes I was thrown to the wolves and shunned and treated like a leper...So, where was the love? Their love, like most was based on conditions...they loved me as long as I conformed, they loved me as long as I didn't expose them for what they were, the loved me as long as I gave enough money and they loved me when it benefited them...

Our friends many time love us as long as were not to messy, or we aren't to 'heavy', they love us when we can be there for them, they love us when we believe what they believe is right, when we began to change, and grow and take a different path, or they misunderstand where we are or what were saying...the love changes and they set out on a mission to "fix us", mold us....they make sure we understand we need to 'get it over it"(whatever your it is) and move on...is this unconditional love? I don't believe so...

Our church family, pastors and preachers tell us Jesus/God loves us unconditionally....I have to ask...Do they really believe that? I'm not sure they do...here's why...

When I was walking this journey with my dad, nothing but just being there with him mattered...not the hateful things he said, not the past, not the future...not even the next 5 minutes...there was no wanting to fix him, save him, correct him, explain my feelings to him, we just were....in that moment, hanging on to every breath, every word, every glance...just that moment...I wanted his image and all that comes with that etched forever in my mind but most importantly my heart...I wanted that love I felt for him to stay with me forever....I want to share it, give it away....pay it forward...live it for others...When you love unconditionally I believe that's how it is...its loving without looking backwards or ahead....its right then and right there..it is listening to the words someone is saying without searching your mind for the right words back....as a christian it is listening without using scripture to hurt, harass, or whip into shape the person hurting...it is not explaining how sin separates from God and you are in grave danger of burning in hell...its not telling the hurting person you are responsible for the hurt inflicted upon you...Don't get me wrong, most christians are well meaning, but ill equipped...what do I mean? Let me see how to explain this....

Christians are taught the way to help a dead and dying world is to be a light...a light that lights the dark path sinners are on...So they do that by reading scripture and memorizing it so that when they meet someone who is not "saved" they can recall and speak scripture...We see christians in front of abortion clinic picketing, we see them holding signs on the road side about how if you have an abortion your going hell....seen that just the other day in a town near me...we are told if we don't turn from our wicked(whatever that may be)ways we are dammed to hell...Many, many well meaning christians use these tactics...I have said for years you can't scare the hell out of someone and you can't scare heaven in them....So my point is this....this is conditional love....God/Jesus loves you as along as you don't sin...don't lie, steal, drink, smoke, dance, wear clothing that is not acceptable, don't be a homosexual, or transgender, don't look at the world different than we define you should, don't go to a casino,don't meditate, do yoga or go to a holistic doctor.......If you were really saved you wouldn't/would do that, or this or read this or that or study this or that.....Don't swear, don't murder(unless its war and then its ok especially if our side is winning or the death penalty) don't be a democrat that believes in global warming, and I know some that says you can't be a democrat at all... don't worship idols, dont spend to much time on your cell phone...conserve water, but don't care so much about that earth that it becomes an idol...Don't educate yourself about any other religion or denomination other than your own and if you do read about it, you must your use denominations books to research ad the author must be of your denomination cause they have it all right....and the big one....DO NOT JUDGE...ok so some of these are silly and a bit off....but I think or I hope I  made my point...This is all conditional love...strings attached if you will...God/Jesus loves us as long as we don't (you fill in the blank). Is this not all judging...is it not judging to tell or even just think that someone is wicked and will burn in hell because they are different? Just because someone doesn't think like you, act like you, dress like you, talk like you, love like you does not in anyway mean they are going to hell...whatever hell really is....(more on that later)

Ok, so heres the simple truth...Jesus was not a Christian, he was not a democrat nor republican, he loved the earth God gave us, while he doesn't like many of things mentioned above, he loves us in-spite of ourselves...he doesn't judge us like our fellow man.....Just like I loved my dad and put all judgment and malice aside...I loved him for him, not because of what he had done or had not done....Its humans that put all these stipulations on love...I did it/do it and so do you, we all do...we like to fool ourselves into believing we don't...We will be there for someone until they no longer suit our needs, or believe something we don't or they find their self in a deep depression and we feel they just need to get over it...We are ill equipped to deal with people outside our box...outside our way of thinking...outside of how we were taught or led to believe is right or wrong...We are ill equipped to think for ourselves. Yes, I myself am included in that last statement....I was part of the organized church for most of my life and I thought like they did, because it was what I was taught to do and told was right and that Jesus loved me as long as I did not sin and if I sinned and did not repent I would burn for eternity in hell...So I had to ask myself...did I do things out of love for Jesus and all he done for me(dying on a cross a horrible, violent death) or did I do what I did for fear of going to an unimaginable place of burning and damnation...I'm still working in this one...more on this at a later date :)

This is not unconditional love....Unconditional love does not say....I will love you unless....I will love you if...I will love you when....No! it says I will love you in spite of...I was able to put 'me' aside and love my daddy in spite of himself and all of his shortcomings...I just couldn't hate the man laying in that bed reduced to only a shell of the man I had known all my life...

Because of all I have learned and am learning about myself through all the pain with my dad....I have become a better person in many ways...I am learning to embrace who I am, who I want to be and who I am becoming...others in my life aren't so happy with me...again...its about unconditional love.....really it is....

Until Next time...


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