Unconditional Love Is a Lie

14 Oct

I’ve been thinking about love and compassion this week.  After some thought, I don’t think love for other people can be unconditional.  (Children and other close family members being the exception.)  However, I think that compassion and love of the self is by nature unconditional.

Love is a deep emotional bond, and it’s not something that we can feel for everyone.  Even forming that bond with someone does not guarantee that it will be permanent; people and circumstances always change.  All of this reverses when I start thinking about myself instead of others.  I need to be able to offer myself unconditional love, as well as unconditional compassion.  I’ve always found it easy to love myself, but I am struggling to offer myself compassion.  It’s something I want to work on, because I believe compassion is a component of love.

I work at a daycare and it’s currently cold and flu season.  I feel a lot of compassion toward our sick kids (and our healthy kids), but I do not necessarily love them.  I want them to recover, and I do what I can to remove their immediate suffering, but that is not love, that is compassion.

I am coming to love some of them, but it’s not unconditional.  I will not be able to maintain my love for any of these children if they grow up to be people I don’t like, but I will still be able to feel compassion for them.  I’ll still see and want to alleviate their suffering; that is unconditional.


What are your thoughts about the difference between love and compassion?  Are their situations where compassion should be conditional?
*(Thanks to Amy at The Handmade and Natural Life for making me think about unconditional self-love.)


2 Responses to “Unconditional Love Is a Lie”


  1. Learn to Love Yourself and be Humble, and Factoid Friday « James R. Eberts - December 16, 2011

    […] Love vs. Compassion (realliverevolution.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Charter for Compassion « creatingreciprocity - October 26, 2011

    […] Love vs. Compassion (realliverevolution.wordpress.com) […]

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