He’s a Big Time lawyer with a Big Time presence on Facebook. I won’t divulge his name but nearly a quarter of a million people follow his short (professionally produced) videos. And this time he was discussing the grief he’s been living with over the death of his beloved dog.
“My dog was the greatest friend you could ever have,” he lamented. “Nobody loved me like [she did].”
He then went on to share that because he’s been in deep mourning over losing his pooch it took him a while to be able to talk about it adding, “I believe if there are no dogs in Heaven, then there is no Heaven.”
I would say the shocker for me was his exclamation that “Dogs are better than people.”
But, no wait! Maybe what really shocked me was the astonishing response to those words by thousands of people, liking and commenting.
What is unconditional love?
The take-away from the hundreds of comments is that dogs are better than people because they give us unconditional love.
Unconditional love means you are loved through mistakes and hardships; it’s an affection without any limitations or no conditions put on love.
But no wonder unconditional love sounds so out of reach in human-to-human connections. As kids, many of us experienced the opposite of this when our impressionable sponge-like little brains heard: “I can’t be loved if I don’t fill in the blank.“
This conditional love might have sounded something like this:
Do any of these sound familiar to you? What was the conditional love refrain you heard as a child? (drop down to the comments and let me know).
In our culture, it’s an accepted belief that parents’ love for their kids is unconditional. But even in the healthiest of families, we can see the type of “strings attached” conditional love in parent-child relationships. And because we learn from an early age the need to conform to others’ preferences and expectations, this trauma (yes, trauma) is carried with us into adulthood as we go about trying to create relationships with others.
Ok, it is hard when we create an enduring relationship with another person – a person who has their own character flaws and frailties that come into contact with our own character flaws and frailties.