What dogs can teach us
by Amy Waterman
n the middle of a session the other day I had a powerful realization. I was asked to think of a relationship I had with something in the last week that in my mind was the ideal relationship, and to think of what it was about that relationship that made it ideal.
A number of men in the group thought of their cars, toolsheds, families, workmates, old friends, even relationships with objects such as their television remote, recliner chair, or favorite pair of shoes. To each of these men, these things felt comfortable, and simple. The relationships they had with these people or objects was rewarding and easy to maintain.
When my turn came to identify my ideal relationship, I thought of my dog. My dog has very simple needs, and it is the ultimate ego-boost for me when I get home at night and I am greeted in such an enthusiastic fashion. I don’t know of any others that greet me so enthusiastically night after night. No matter how long I have been away from the house or no matter how my day has been. I call this unconditional love.
So what is unconditional love?
Unconditional love is the type of love that comes without conditions. It is the type of love that you have for your partner when the romantic, hollywood-style love is gone. Once the romantic love is gone you make the transition to "real" love. Real love is love you have for your partner despite the knowledge that they are not perfect. You know your partner has faults. You know your partner is not perfect. You know your partner makes mistakes sometimes, but that’s okay. You still love them. This is unconditional love.
The same thing applies to you however in looking at your partner’s faults. You acknowledge that you are the same. You have faults. You are not perfect. You know you make mistakes sometimes, but that’s okay. That’s called self-acceptance, and you expect unconditional love to overcome the faults and imperfections that people have.
So what do you get from this then? Should we all go out and get dogs to teach us something about unconditional love? Maybe there is a lesson to be learnt here. We all clutter our lives with trials and tribulations, and there is the temptation to let our issues rule our lives.
But if you are serious about saving your marriage you need to put the clutter to one side and let your unconditional love come through. It is okay to have faults and make mistakes. And love will conquer them all.
Have a think about unconditional love and how you can apply this realization to your relationship.
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