Are the people who are supposed to love us actually hurting us the most? I am learning more and more about how NOT to love every single day. Generation after generation has felt responsible for the generation who follows them but are we handing down the right lessons. Do you feel loved? Do we even know how to define that anymore? I think somewhere along the way I missed knowing what loving someone really means. My love has been conditional and I never even realized it. I had been sending the message to my children that if they followed my rules and got good grades and tried hard enough to meet my standards in behavior, school and sports then I would love them. Obviously none of that is true. Deep down I know that I will always love them no matter what. The trouble is, I was making them feel it was conditional. Maybe not the love part but at the very least my acceptance of them. The cycle has to broken someplace. There are no conditions. We are all beautifully flawed and the greatest gift we could ever give is loving and accepting someone just as they are, free of judgement. The conditions and opinions and expectations are slowly killing our spirit until we walk down that unfortunate path of always trying to please others. Here’s a secret, its an impossible task and I promise if you try it you will end up disappointed and fail miserably. Stop giving advice. Stop giving your opinion. Just give love, support, encouragement and acceptance and watch how drastically your relationships change. I want to be loved that way. I don’t want advice or teaching or constructive criticism, I want to be me without apology, without excuses. Can you love me like that?