My love is conditional like a motherfucker. Read that again. I say that to say that unconditional love is toxic as fuck. I want people to erase the idea that they have to put up with people’s shit, no matter what. YOU DO NOT! This message is especially for black women, because we have been conditioned more than most to break ourselves for the world. Think about where that “ride or die” mentality comes from. It is the very reason many women are sitting in prison for something their partner did. Black men that we March for when they are murdered by police are our number one killers. See where I’m going with this? One of my favorite jokes on the interest net is: I am not a ride or die. I have questions. Where are we riding to and why we gotta die?
Will I go on adventures with you that fulfill us both? Yes. Where and where, but will I do things that make me uncomfortable? Trigger me? Send me spinning into a never ending spiral of depression, insecurity, and doubt? Hell no.
Believe in your worth
Own your agency
Understand your core values
Name your non-negotiables
Deal breakers. Know them.
Asset without apology
Reinforce and repeat if challenged
Implement practically and safely
Exit when not respected
Save yourself and prioritize your self-care
Unconditional means not limited. I have limits and you should too. Have limits with your family, with your friends, with you co-workers, and with your lovers. I’ll give you examples. With family, people will use the term “blood is thicker than water” to cross lines they know damn well they have no reason crossing. My own father was this person trying to pit me against my sister and her boyfriend. He is no longer a part of my life because he is a grown ass man. I am a grown ass woman, and I will not be manipulated with delusions for the sake of “family.” Chosen family is a real thing. Get you one.
With friends, I don’t engage in gossip. Do not call me with what someone has said about me. Do not call me with other people’s business. It’s some miserable shit to do. I also don’t want that fed into my spirit. It’s some low vibrational shit and I have better things to talk about. I don’t even follow The Shaderoom anymore, because honestly, that shit is depressing. The way they drag celebrities and their personal lives through the mud is tragic. They continuously feed into negative narratives about black women, colorism, politics, and abuse and they are NEVER on the right side of it. Pass. There are better platforms. I have actually shifted my entire timeline so that my scrolling is intentional. It’s filled with black women that are therapists, fitness instructors, brujas, travelers, couples in love, foodies, and artist.
With co-workers, I do not let them change who I am. I Do. Not. Code. Switch. Can I? Yes, but then I would not be my authentic self. When I look for jobs, I purposely look for places that will allow me to flourish as myself. I stopped feeding into corporate bullshit a long time ago, because either way, what’s for me will be for me. Companies will feed on your fear if you allow them to. I’m the asset and that’s what needs to be understood. My boss loves reminding me that I’m smarter than her and I eat it up everytime.
With lovers, I have learned to stand my ground. I say what I will not tolerate and if that is violated, I’m out, because staying silent communicates that what they did is okay. It’s not. Your bad behavior will not be rewarded with my presence and/or dopeness. Sit down with the person that you choose for yourself and make your deal breakers clear. Say to them, “That if you do this thing,” this relationship is over. Don’t be the submissive. Don’t be passive. Don’t be the “go with the flow” type. Know yourself and what you want. I’m here to tell you that there are people out there that care about what it is that you want, need, and desire, and they will give it to you, without question.
The ONLY person that absolutely needs your unconditional love is yourself. Give yourself unconditional love, unconditional gratitude, unconditional criticism, and unconditional grace. You require it for the amount of energy people want to steal from you. You can’t rely on others to give it back to you. I have both loved and been loved unconditionally. I’d actually be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit that there are a few people in this world that can do no wrong in my eyes and I will love them no matter what, but even that has fine print. Even though I love them, it’s from a far distance, because I’ve had to learn to put myself first. Wounds are easily inflicted, but they take a long time to heal. Stop bleeding out for people that won’t offer you so much as a band-aid.
Being on the receiving end of unconditional love kept me stagnant. I was toxic and standing in ego. I could do this because I knew that no matter what, I’d never be left. By being loved unconditionally, I was being enabled to walk in my shadow-self with all the darkest parts of me as my face: jealousy, selfishness, venomous language, detached feelings, the works. The sad thing is that people liked this side of me. They believed that I cared and because of this I formed a lot of trauma bonds. Blog for another day.
So what’s my beef with the word unconditional? I just told you. Let’s talk about love, because I’m good at that. Think about what it means to say to someone that you love them unconditionally; you love them without limits. You’re giving them permission to do whatever and you will accept it. That means, they can cheat, they can lie, they can hit you, they can use you… and you will still love them.
I went into marriage with the “unconditional love” mentality. I left that marriage in pieces. The unfortunate thing is that I would have stayed had someone not come along and showed me that I could have what I was asking for, what I desired. By giving and receiving unconditional love, we tend to settle for things that can trigger and traumatize us. And don’t take this as a reason to be intolerant finding any little reason to cut people out of your life. Your spouse not squeezing the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube is inconsideration, not abuse or an attack. We are all flawed and that’s okay. There is just a fine line between flawed and toxic. Your discernment can tell you the difference. You will know what needs to be nurtured and what should be nuked.
There are people that are redeemable, but understand that it’s up to them to do the work for themselves. They have to hold themselves accountable and own their shit. You do not, do not have to unpack their shit. Boundaries protect your spirit, your mental health, your heart, and your physical being.
I didn’t always have limits. I accepted unconditional love as this whimsical, romantic thing that had to be done in life in order to have long-lasting connections. I understand now through spirituality and maturity that people who truly love you will not push you that far. They will not test your will or your levels of pain by how much you can endure. What they will do is want what’s best for you and challenge you to go after it. True love is healing, growth, and unapologetic boundaries. Anyone that expects you to bend yourself outside of what you have to give is selfish and hella egotistical. You don’t need it in your life.
Learn who and when to hold space for others, yourself, and the waves of emotions that we all face each day.