How to Love Unconditionally


Love can do nothing other than love.

When he wants to change and asks for my help, I am always here.
Maybe to help him to change. Or maybe to remind him that I love him no matter how much he changes or how much he stays the same.

In Moscow, August 2012, my husband and I met for the first time. We got married after 4 years of long-distance love. 

Those 4 years taught me how to be brave. Over and over again, I chose to keep on loving instead of giving up. I learned to accept the uncertainty of the distance, and the risk of heartbreak.  

However, I learned the real meaning of unconditional love only after our wedding. Something crazy happened: We moved in.  

Finally, we're together.

But without having to count the hours until our next goodbye, I had plenty of time to notice his flaws. (And I imagine, so did he.) 

Rapha has the knack to take milk out of the fridge, open it, and forget about it. He does the same with frozen bananas - which, after 20 minutes, become a mess of unattractive brown liquid. He throws pillows on the bedroom's floor. And wakes up at 2PM in the weekends.  

At first, I pretended to be nice. But inside, I was furious the level of a hungry hippopotamus. 

My knee-jerk reaction was to fix him. I mean... I would "help him improve". After all, I love him. And that's what we do when we love someone. Right? 


If I really loved him, I would accept him exactly who he is. 

He is a human being, not a piece of broken machinery in need of fixing.

I grew up watching mother tried to fix my father. Everything: the way he smoked, ate, dressed, bought souvenirs. He did the same to her. After 30 years of marriage, they still haven't realised that it doesn't work and will never work. I'm not blaming or judging them. I'm just choosing another way. 

Because changing someone who wants to change is already very hard (Trust me, I'm a life coach.)

Changing someone who doesn’t want to change is impossible.

At some point, I decided, to stop getting obsessed about the open milk carton on the kitchen counter, and start noticing how he always helped me carry my handbag.

From one minute to the other, I went from feeling like I married the wrong person, to feeling like the luckiest woman in the world.

When we turn our attention away from the things we don't have and towards the things we do have, we may be amazed by how blessed we are. 

Unconditional love is also about letting go. Let go of judgment. Let go of the need to control our loved ones. Let go of having things done our way. Let go of the ego. 

When we let go enough, what we have left are the two eyes capable of seeing. 

Not what our ego want to see. Not what the ego of our lover wants to project. But as what our loved one truly is: simply human.  

We don't need to agree with them about everything. But we can understand. 

Finally, we and our lover can say what Amanda Palmer said in her famous TED Talk: 

- I see you.
- Thank you, no one ever did

The moment I let go of the crazy control freak inside my head, I feel a rush of love comes over me. 

I love the scar on his forearm as much as I love the freckles on the back of his neck, as much as I love how the lines on his face deepens when he grins.

I adore his love for soft-baked cookies, his occasional absent-mindedness, and how rambling and dramatic he is when he tells stories.

Love can do nothing other than love.

When he wants to change and asks for my help, I am always here.

Maybe to help him to change. Or maybe to remind him that I love him no matter how much he changes or how much he stays the same.

I will not wait until he is smart or rich or or happy or calm or putting-the-milk-back-in-the-fridge enough to love him. Because that day may never come. 

Life has no guarantee. 

Today’s morning you may open your eyes and see the smiles of your lovers. Tomorrow's morning you may open your eyes only to find tears. Not their tears, yours. 

Because no matter how much love we carry in our two hands, we can't beat the hands of death. We can't make the ones we love live forever. 

Life cannot be controlled. 

Learning to love unconditionally gives us the best shot at navigating the most vulnerable terrain of living: love. 

I owe this line to Interstellar"So listen to me when I say love isn't something that we invented. It's observable. Powerful. It has to mean something…

Maybe it means something more - something we can't yet understand. Maybe it's some evidence, some artifact of a higher dimension that we can't consciously perceive...

Love is the one thing that we're capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that, even if we can't understand it."

Love is what the world needs most. Love is practical and powerful. The intimate love between two persons is sacred.

It is impossible for real love to create sufferings. Love can do nothing other than love. Love only heals. We get hurt in relationships because we haven’t learned the art of unconditional love.

But we can. Right now. With, or without a romantic partner. 

We can always start with the lover we were born into and will always have.

We can start with ourselves.

P.S. [For Vietnamese readers] Bạn thân yêu, nếu bạn đang gặp trắc trở trong tình yêu, hoặc muốn mở lòng học yêu để sẵn sàng cho một cuộc tình hạnh phúc, Milena có một cuốn sách cho bạn. Tìm hiểu tại đây nhé. 

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