Unconditional Love

Reader Contribution by Shawn Hosford
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My husband Mark has the most profound way of giving unconditional love that I have ever experienced.

To call me high spirited with lots of energy and passion for causes might be a bit of an understatement. In my book, The Invisible Parenting Handbook, our daughter Carly describes me as “…..a gale-force wind” and a person who likes to help whenever possible. She says “Sometimes when I think about my mother, I imagine her carrying these big baskets full of people, me included. Not because we need her to hold us up, but because she chooses to take us under her wings regardless”. Mark’s grace and ability to support me in my all of passions and pursuits has allowed me the space to do many things over my life time. I know that this gift is unusual and I am thankful for his continuous offering.

Recently someone asked Mark how he deals with me, my energy, and passion for causes. His answer went something like this “I watch her run as far and long as needed because I know she needs it, the running, and when she has finished her task and is tired she always returns home to me”. I am sorry to say that I do not have the same grace when it comes to unconditional love. Mark is a master; I am in training. To watch your partner timelessly, unconditionally, and masterfully give love is truly remarkable.

I trust that I serve as an example of mastery to Mark in some other area.

After thirty four years of learning about one another’s strengthens and weaknesses we have the knowledge and ability to enjoy each other strengths and pass by each other’s weaknesses. As we age with our relationship, sometimes we pass through moments of boredom, minimal patience, and the need for personal space. When these trying times settle in for moments longer than I’m comfortable harboring, I look to my elders for examples of loving couples to emulate and question. Through these examples I learn how to tend and mend Mark and my togetherness.

I ran into one such couple on my walk the other day. I have watched this couple from afar for many years. They walk one of my neighborhood walking routes. I have seen them other times working in their sweet well manicured yard. As they walked in front of me recently I was touched by their act of holding hands. I caught up with them and asked if I could take their picture, they obliged. I walked on and remembered I had yet to write this week’s blog. I had a question for them and turned around to ask: ”What makes your relationship work well?” For her the answer was “It just works” and for him it was “Keep your month shut”. In a way it doesn’t matter what the answer is, it simply matters that they’re holding hands, and that they know it’s working.

If you are in a long term relationship can you say why it works? Are you thankful for spending your time in your long term relationship? Can you show others the grace of your relationship? Is your relationship worthy of your time and life’s energy?

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