Love is a Competitive Sport

from petsofthehomeless.org

from petsofthehomeless.org

Unconditional love is a fallacy among human beings.  It’s an ideal we strive for but it almost always remains short of attainable.  It’s a perfection we cannot achieve.

Because human beings are imperfect.

Even parents don’t love unconditionally, as much as they profess to do.  We know that from stories of abuse and murder.  Not everyone is fit to be a mother or father simply due to their ability to procreate.  We don’t like to admit that fact.  Still, it remains a fact.  Unfortunately.

Because human beings are imperfect.

We have conditions of ‘if’ and ‘when’.  Sometimes we place these conditions on ourselves.  Other times the conditions are placed on us by others.  As much as people say they love and treat all their children the same, it’s a lie.  We are all individuals and our differences necessitate that we love and be loved differently.

Not everyone is athletic.  Some will never be athletic.  We need to be loved for who and what we are, not what we are not.  We cannot be remade, shaped into something foreign to our nature.

Loving them the same means closing your heart to love, filling it completely, keeping it small, like the Grinch.  You can’t divide your love into equal parts as if it’s a sandwich to share.  It is not a solid object.  It has no boundaries.  There’s always more to give.  Playing favorites and asking “Why can’t you be more like __________?” lead to hurt and resentment.   Sibling rivalry: love as a competitive sport.

Because human beings are imperfect.

Speed dating, online dating.  They have elevated conditional love to an olympic sport.  Likes (fill in the blank).  Must be (fill in the blank).  Must have (fill in the blank).  A life reduced to a glimpse of a photo or face and a few keywords.  More time and effort is put into job interviews than selecting — and dismissing — a date.  Six-pack abs and bikini bodies don’t last forever.

Because human beings are imperfect.

Flashy diamond rings and ridiculously expensive wedding receptions are not measures of love, but trophies touted by those who view love as a competitive sport.  Money doesn’t really buy love.  It buys ‘things’.  ‘Things’ don’t provide hugs, kisses, smiles, encouragement, emotional support, nor do they ensure a lasting marriage.  Love makes your heart dance.  Can you say the same for a car, jewelry, a house, fancy clothes, a ‘state of the art’ kitchen?

Every person wants love.  Every person needs love.  Every person is capable and deserving of love regardless of checklists or the size of your wallet.

As human beings, we aren’t truly capable of unconditional love.

Dogs are.  Their hearts are pure.  They have no conditions.

They love you no matter where you live, what you look like (especially in the morning), what kind of car you have, how much or little money, your political views, religious or ethnic background or how many Facebook friends you have.

Their love doesn’t change as they get older.  They still want to sit in your lap when they’re sixteen, no matter what size they are.  If you’re truly lucky, they like to lay on top of you resting their heads on your heart.  They love you even on days you’re too tired to play with them.  They won’t walk away if you’re not feeling well or having a bad day.  People will.  Dogs however will come to you, lean on you, nudge you, lay on you to let you know you still have them, they love you and they’ll stay by your side.  They won’t get tired of you, get mad, criticize, complain about dinner, move out or divorce you.

They have no need of gifts.  You are a gift to them.  Every day.  You have given them a home and your heart.  Their joy from that is enough for them.  You rock their world.  Always.  No competition.

Dogs are unconditional love.

Because human beings are imperfect.

 

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