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Codependent's view on unconditional love

Old 01-13-2011, 04:11 AM
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Codependent's view on unconditional love

My mother gave me an old book of quotes, poems, and short essays called Leaves of Gold. I believe I was a teenager when I opened the pages of wisdom. There was one poem that reached into my soul. There was true beauty in the words. It made an everlasting impression upon me.

Unconditional Love:

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.

I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what part of me that you bring out.

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart, and passing over all the foolish and frivolous and weak things which you cannot help dimly see there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful, radiant belongings, that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.

I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool and weakling in me, and for laying firm hold on the possibilities of good in me.

I love you for closing your eyes to the discords in me, and for adding to the music in me by worshipful listening.

I love you because you are helping me make of the lumber of my life, not a tavern, but a Temple, and of the words of my every day not a reproach but a song.

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means after all.

Leaves of Gold, pg. 80

This is unconditional love!!!!!!! Is it possible for a codependent to experience "unconditional love"? ......Or is it only a pipe dream?

Phoenix
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:33 AM
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What this describes (to me) is what it is like to have the perfect partnership. I believe it is very rare. I am quite cynical, however, so don't listen to me.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:26 AM
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Cynical oh boy we so have something in common. I believe that is possible but if you were as screwed up as I was when I walked in the rooms the only real hope of finding that IMO is to take some years to work a program, learn to forgive and love yourself, and be okay with being alone 1st. I can't expect to find all that if my insides are still all whacked out. I now have perfected the being okay by myself portion of this, cause I have been out of a relationship for several years and to be honest am happy as a clam (I wonder if clams are really happy) lol. Also knowing what you want and don't want helps to. Keep the Faith Judy M
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:51 AM
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What's "IMO"??
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Phoenixthebird View Post

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.
Someone here mentioned the fact that a lot of pop culture presents some very unhealthy fantasies. The implication of that quoted statement, that a person is somehow 'less than' without that 'special' other.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by BumblingAlong View Post
What's "IMO"??
In My Opinion
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:23 AM
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OMG. It is a beautiful poem but I had to laugh when I read this. I know this sounds horrible but there is a good reason. We had this poem read at our wedding! LMAO!!!!!!!

The poem of the codie in denial. We should have rewritten it to be...

I love you not only for how needy you are, but for the control freak I am when I am with you.

I love you not only for what you have failed to make of yourself, but for what I'm certain I can make of you.

I think I am also on the Bandwagon of Cynicism today, so please forgive me. Really, its a beautiful poem.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:34 AM
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SKW - that is priceless. So true.

I love the poem too. I don't think it is codie as written. It is basically saying being with you brings out the best in me. I can say that my xah did not bring out the best in me - yikes - worse me ever.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:58 AM
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I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.
Originally Posted by sailorjohn View Post
Someone here mentioned the fact that a lot of pop culture presents some very unhealthy fantasies. The implication of that quoted statement, that a person is somehow 'less than' without that 'special' other.
I think that depends on how you read it.
One could read it as "I love you not only for what you are but for the fact that I can completely and utterly be myself when I am with you" -- that's the only relationships I care about in my new life, the ones where I don't have to put on a mask or pretend to be something I'm not. Where I'm allowed to be all that I am, good and bad, whether I'm alone or with someone.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:05 AM
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I don't believe in unconditional love any more. Maybe that between a parent and child comes closest but even with that relationship there must be a line somewhere...
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
I think that depends on how you read it.
One could read it as "I love you not only for what you are but for the fact that I can completely and utterly be myself when I am with you" -- that's the only relationships I care about in my new life, the ones where I don't have to put on a mask or pretend to be something I'm not. Where I'm allowed to be all that I am, good and bad, whether I'm alone or with someone.

Yeah, but.............

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

Just that thing about relying on externals to 'make' us 'whole', happy', 'good' or whatever attribute we feel we might be lacking.

I think you may understand where I'm coming from. Hopefully.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:27 AM
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Nice poem.
Right now, I'll chalk it up as a pipe dream.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:27 AM
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Absolutely, I do. Any time you rely on anything or anyone outside yourself to make you happy, you're in for a surprise...

Funny, in that same vein... I've told my kids many, many times that "you are responsible for your own feelings, and when you say someone 'made me angry' it's really incorrect -- you chose to react with anger to what someone else did or said."

Last week, I overheard my youngest say on the phone to RAXH, "No, Dad, he didn't make you angry, you chose to react with anger" and just about spit my coffee!!!
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:34 AM
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My answer is Yes! It is possible! We were juniors in high school when we fell in love. After graduating he had a bad accident at work and was messed up pretty bad. I still loved him scared up and all. If the alcohol was replaced and it was another disease such as cancer or bipolar even if he were paralyzed I would still love him just the same. So now this has me questioning myself….. Am I codependent or just guilty of loving too much?
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by letgoofmyheart View Post
Am I codependent or just guilty of loving too much?
I'm wondering if those aren't almost the same thing...
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Tally View Post
I don't believe in unconditional love any more. Maybe that between a parent and child comes closest but even with that relationship there must be a line somewhere...
I agree.

I think the whole Cinderella story gets us into big trouble because it sets us up for unrealistic expectations. People are people are people. We make mistakes.

There's choice involved with a mature loving relationship. I think the romance novels and chic flicks lie about that more often than not.

Happily ever after is a myth even in good marriages.
As a happily married friend of mine put it, "Friends forever can work." Friends learn to compromise, negotiate and accept that they can disagree on certain issues without destroying the relationship.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:26 PM
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Oh, it's such a nice dream. I read the poem and instantly thought "Yes! It's possible to have unconditional love!" And then I realized, it was the little girl in pig-tails and princess dresses, jumping up and down, clapping her hands, and saying that. So she makes appearances once in a while still. I would have to think about it a bit more, but I really like this:

Originally Posted by Verbena View Post
As a happily married friend of mine put it, "Friends forever can work." Friends learn to compromise, negotiate and accept that they can disagree on certain issues without destroying the relationship.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:42 PM
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I like that, Verbena. That's sort of my ideal when it comes to relationships: Not so much some kind of ethereal soulmateship, more like a partner to pull the plough through everyday life together with.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:53 PM
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I agree with you Tally.

Or, between your Dog and you.
Or you and your Dog.
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