Unconditional love is a concept that means showing love towards someone regardless of his or her actions or beliefs. It is a concept comparable to true love, a term which is more frequently used to describe love between lovers. By contrast unconditional love is frequently used to describe love between family members, comrades in arms and between others in highly committed relationships. It has also been used in a religious context to describe God's love for mankind.
Some secular authors make a distinction between unconditional love and conditional love. In conditional love: love is 'earned' on the basis of conscious or unconscious conditions being met by the lover, whereas in unconditional love, love is 'given freely' to the loved one 'no matter what'. Conditional love requires some kind of finite exchange whereas unconditional love is seen as infinite and measureless. Unconditional love should not be mistaken with unconditional dedication: unconditional dedication refers to an act of the will irrespective of feelings (e.g a person may consider they have a duty to stay with a person); unconditional love is an act of the feelings irrespective of will.
Harold W. Becker, author and founder of The Love Foundation, Inc., defines Unconditional Love as "an unlimited way of being." From his book of the same title, Becker goes on to say that "the greatest power known to man is that of unconditional love. Through the ages, mystics, sages, singers and poets all expressed the ballad and call to love. As humans, we searched endlessly for the experience of love through the outer senses.
Great civilizations have come and gone under the guise of love for their people. Religions have flourished and perished while claiming the true path to love. We, the people of this planet, may have missed the simplicity of unconditional love. ...Simply stated, unconditional love is an unlimited way of being. We are without any limit to our thoughts and feelings in life and can create any reality we choose to focus our attention upon. The qualities of love are endless and the expressions are infinite. The power of unconditional love is within each of us."
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During their distinguished careers the Doctors have received some 60 local, state, and national awards; published nearly 200 articles and manuscripts; delivered over 1000 speeches, workshops and public presentations; traveled throughout the world; and appeared on radio and television and in the print media. Dr. Charles D. Schmitz is Dean and Professor of Family and Counseling Therapy at the University of Missouri in St. Louis and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz is President of Successful Marriage Reflections, LLC.
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