What do you think of when you hear the word "love"? For me, the first words that come to mind are: trust, relationship, happiness, respect, values, compromise, silly jokes, waking up happy because of the person next to you, protected, falling in love, butterflies... Something to be treasured, but also something to keep working on.
The moment I became a parent I was introduced to a different kind of love: the most overwhelming emotion I've ever had: the one of unconditional love. To love someone no matter what. It blew my mind, it washed over me and hasn't left me since. I don't expect it ever will.
Actually, I'm not sure who I'm writing this blogpost for as all of you parents out there know this feeling very well. And people who aren't parents (yet), well, I guess it's something you will only truly understand the moment you become one. So I'm probably just writing this for myself - to remind me, when I look back, how beautiful and overwhelming a feeling it was. Not just something that's always been there.
Unconditional love is fundamentally different from love as I knew it before. That type of love, as strong as it may be, was and is based on respect, and some guardrails. We could discuss specifics, but if the person you love cheats on you, or lies to you or ... [insert what would make you walk away] ... If the person you love doesn't treat you with the respect you deserve, you walk away. You both know that, and you treat each other with respect, because you love each other and always want to be together. But no matter how strong and deep your love, it is not unconditional. At least not in my mind.
Unconditional love feels like 100% heart and no reason. I'm guessing it's biological: what other reason could there be for waking up at 4am and not mind because it's.your.baby? It feels bigger than anything else I've ever felt.
Did you feel the same when you became a parent? Do you agree with my "love" description versus "unconditional love" or is it too black and white because my baby is still only 3 months? Does it change over time? I'm curious, let me know!