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Unconditional Love

My sweet girl recently celebrated her sweet 16! That’s 121 years old in human years. I can’t believe it! I’ve always said she will live forever and she’s doing everything to prove me right. And I couldn’t be prouder. My heart beams with love for her and all we’ve shared over the past 16 years. This girl has a beautiful soul. She never judges and greets each day with a smile (and a stretch). What a privilege I have to be her mom.

My girl is the true definition of unconditional love. Unconditional love is loving without conditions. There’s no expectations, judgements, highs, or lows. It’s a constant open, flow of love for another. Humans struggle with unconditional love, but pets do not. In fact, unconditional love is all pets know. Add this to the long list of things we humans need to learn from our furry friends.

I know this will likely upset many, but it’s impossible for humans to love one another unconditionally. Parents think they love their children unconditionally, but they do not. Parents expect their babies to take their first steps near their first birthday and reach out to their pediatrician the minute that milestone is missed. Parents want their children to be the best on the field or stage and judge their performance as less than if anything other than first place is awarded. Parents express a high when their graduating senior gets accepted into the college of their choice or a low when they choose not to go to college at all. These scenarios are all examples of conditions, judgements, or expectations parents impose onto their children. Having conditions, judgements, or expectations of any type and placing those onto another is your problem, not theirs. You are expecting them to live up to what you want for them, but it is likely not what they want for themselves. This doesn’t just apply to a parent-child relationship, although it is the most conditional type of relationship. This occurs in all relationships, such as friends, family, co-workers, spouse, etc.

To love another unconditionally is hard and at times impossible. It takes constant self-awareness to prevent casting your conditions, judgements, or expectations onto another. Loving unconditionally doesn’t mean you open the door and allow yourself to be the brunt of all your relationships either. It simply means you approach relationships with an open mind. Whatever they bring or don’t bring into your life, you accept it for what it is. And if it’s not something you desire, you walk away. If you realize it’s not for you, just say, No Thanks. There’s no drama, no judgement, no anger, or sadness. The same way your dog walks away from the rude, old lady (yes, I know that’s a judgement) who chases her off her lawn. Walk away and move onto the next one. A much greener lawn!

As long my girl’s little heart is beating, this world is a better place – she knows nothing but love for all. She has shown me unconditional love for 16 years and while I am far from perfect, I do strive to practice it not only with her, but with everyone in my life. She has made me a better human! If only we all could view the world and all that’s in it through the eyes of a pet. We could make this world a better place by being the people, our pets think we are.