How to Love Unconditionally: A Global Love Day Lesson
Unconditional love is hard to explain. Applying it to ourselves is sometimes even more difficult. That’s why this Global Love Day is inspired by the phrase “Love begins with me.” Our self-love is often buried beneath layers of trauma, guilt, and pain, which makes it easy to overlook the fact that love is always present.
What is Global Love Day?
Global Love Day is a global holiday dedicated to expressing unconditional love.
When is Global Love Day?
Every year on May 1.
How did Global Love Day start?
The history of Global Love Day began in 2004, when “The Love Foundation” began the holiday with the hopes of unifying and celebrating humanity through acts of love. Their website states it best:
We are one humanity on this planet.
All life is interconnected and interdependent.
All share in the Universal bond of love.
Love begins with self-acceptance and forgiveness.
With respect and compassion we embrace diversity.
Together we make a difference through love.
First things first, is unconditional love possible? Those who ask this question, along with those who are quick to answer it, often mistake what unconditional love really means. You’re probably apt to say something like “the love between a mother and child,” but unconditional love is different from familial bonds. It can exist between familial bonds, but people often search for it in romantic relationships as well.
Unconditional love means caring about someone else’s happiness even though it has no benefit to you. The “feel good” feeling released when someone else’s happiness makes us happy is the brain’s signal of love that supersedes any type of exchange. In essence, it’s about giving without reciprocation.
Tips for Unconditional Love
- Communicate your wants and needs, including emotional, spiritual and physical or sexual.
- Stop getting caught up in the details. Once you start nit-picking, all you do is facilitate a wedge between you and your partner. It also creates a hostile environment where everyone starts taking things personally and getting defensive.
- Respect your partner as your equal. Of course, you’ll split the responsibilities, but including one another in the smallest of decisions is a signal that both of you are in this, together, just like you vowed to be.
Does unconditional love hinder or strengthen mental wellbeing?
One study finds that unconditional love activates rewarding parts of the brain that romantic love otherwise doesn’t. It also activates the same parts of the brain associated with desire, euphoria and addiction. The question if it’s less risky is up to you to decide.
On the flip side, another study finds that children who receive unconditional love are more resilient in adulthood because they are less likely to suffer from trauma and other mental health issues and they’re also less likely to suffer from physical diseases related physiological systems.
So, are there any downsides to unconditional love?
Some argue that unconditional love isn’t something that’s given, it’s a long a grueling process. Even if it is, this selfless act, especially when taught to yourself, shows that love can exist, no matter the circumstance.
Donna is a Volonté contributor and freelancer who lives in San Francisco with her understanding husband and not-so-understanding teenage sons. Her work has been published in The Journal of Sexology and she is currently writing a book on love languages.