Unconditional love is widely considered to be one of the most valuable gifts that parents can give their children.
Ironically, many parents set out to love their children unconditionally and then feel bad about themselves when they fall short. In other words, their self-esteem is conditional — contingent upon their success at loving unconditionally!
Some parents believe that giving selflessly to their children is proof of their unconditional love. But parental self-sacrifice is an insidious form of conditionality that diminishes both parent and child. Its true colors are exposed when the self-sacrificing parent eventually snaps and says, “How can you treat me that way after all I’ve sacrificed for you!?”
What gets us in trouble is focusing too much on what we’re doing and not enough on how we’re being.
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