Love with Strings Attached

by Amy on March 11, 2015


People are not perfect.

They’re vain. Hypocritical. Annoying. Rude.

They forget your birthday.

They leave passive aggressive Facebook comments.

They steal your handbag…

My brother yells at me during sporting events, for example. (When the game is close!)

The last time he did this (during the Ducks game), I left his house in tears. And for the next few days I literally disowned him in my head and then spent the rest of the week mourning the loss of a sibling.

Despite the “brazen” persona, my heart is about as soft as butter left out on the counter. I get my feelings hurt swiftly, with little warning. And I stew on my “wounds” for days.

Shutting People Out

In fact, it has come to my attention that I shut people out when they screw up. (Said people are now mumbling, “duh.”)

I guess I’ve been arrogant. I thought I had unconditional love down.  I specifically requested 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 at my wedding …

“Love is very patient and kind.

It does not demand it’s own way…”

I love that verse!


Flunking Unconditional Love

It’s humbling to admit that I’m a 41 year old life coach who has been flunking unconditional love.

I scan the horizon, anticipating any wrong move people might take to wound me.

And then, when it happens (because people are not perfect and I’m as sensitive as butter), I disown them.

If you scored high as a hater, you probably get it. You had traumatic experiences with people you trusted and came to the conclusion that people are NOT to be trusted.

Me too.

But I don’t hate. I disown.

Love with Strings Attached

My love has had strings attached.

My love said, “I love you if…”

I love you IF you say the right things.

I love you IF you make me feel loved.

I love you IF you never hurt my feelings.

I Lost the Ability to Forgive

And what I realize now is that I created a brazen exterior that has helped me learn boundaries, advocate for what I want, and unapologetically go for it.

But along the way I lost the ability to forgive. TWEET THAT

So now I come full circle, back to my heart. I choose to keep the brazen part that can set a boundary, say no, and go for it.

AND I welcome in a part of me that can forgive and allow and love without strings.

So to anyone who has ever loved me:

I’m sorry.

I thought I knew how to love you but…

I loved you grudgingly.

I loved you despite myself.

I loved you knowing that you could never make it up to me.

I loved you with unspoken expectations…

Now my heart is open. Now I can see you for who you are. You are human. Just like me. You want the benefit of the doubt. Just like me. You need love, no strings.

Just like me.


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolina March 11, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Amy ~

I can relate to this very well. However, I’m not sure I’ve stepped the full circle, as I’m still a work in progress. Thank you for voicing this truth. This truth might be the most real thing I’ve read that relates to me on such a personal level. I live your statement about not hating, but disowning. I’ve done that, for sure. I hope to find my way full circle someday. THANKS!



Amy March 12, 2015 at 12:49 pm

You are so very welcome Carolina. Awareness is always the first step. And I just became aware of this a few weeks ago!


jean March 12, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Forgiveness, like yoga, is a practice. Just like some poses are more challenging then others so are the relationships we enjoy…a reminder to just breath :)…Thank you so much for this post!


Virginia March 12, 2015 at 3:29 pm

I was talking to my brother last night and he was again trying to encourage me to look up our relatives on Facebook to see what they are doing. My reply was “they don’t give a **** about me so why should I be interested in them?” I have essentially disowned them after reaching out several times and getting nothing in return. I told him I was the family intermediary for a very long time, he was welcome to step into that role now. He said I was harsh. True. But sometimes overlooking unfriendly behavior isn’t so easy to do. I don’t feel guilty or bad protecting myself from being frustrated.


Susan March 13, 2015 at 1:52 am

Thanks for sharing, sweetheart. It’s comforting to know others struggle with the same thing. I think that fully accepting our loved ones (self included) just as they are, disappointments notwithstanding, is just plain grown up. Perhaps it’s the distinguishing mark of true maturity. I want to be a big girl, too! 🙂


Ellaine March 13, 2015 at 2:50 am

Such a timely post for me. Only the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about those I have no contact with now. And then thinking exactly why there is no contact and my part in that. Your words struck a cord, and I thank you for being so honest about yourself. You will ultimately help others have a moment of self awareness, me included. I want unconditional love, so I need to put on my big girl boots and walk the walk, and give unconditional love. Thank you for helping me on my journey, and good luck on yours.


Ruth April 3, 2015 at 9:23 pm

Profound gratitude to you, Amy, for your capacity and walking the talk of Being You Uncensored. My light bulb flared . . . again.


Bana April 7, 2015 at 9:21 am

Hi Amy,

You just described my condition with so much clarity – I don’t hate, I disown… I feel like I am in love while reading your words, in love with my own reflection I see in you. I lived for a while in harmony with myself, but succumbed to the pressures of my surroundings, fearing that my braveness may be in fact audacity and became again a bit more of what they expected me to be than who I really am. It makes me feel both happy and sad: happy for this aliveness and freshness I experience again through you, and sad for losing it. But I know it is there, just around the corner, waiting for me to make small brave steps back! Thank you for holding up the mirror with such clarity, courage and gentleness. Words fail me, lots of love…


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