SECURERELIABLE
DATA DESTRUCTION
BUSINESS SERVICES
SHELTERED WORKSHOP

The Meadows Blog

Unconditional Love

Michael Crawley - Sunday, November 13, 2016

Love is the most powerful force there is because it brings people together in a way that nothing else can. Without it, humanity could not survive. Fortunately, the world is blessed with many different types of love. There is the romantic attraction shared by two people. There is the affection that results from deep friendship. And there is the deep and abiding love that dwells in a family, particularly parental love for their children. All of these produce intense feelings that create a willingness to focus on someone else’s needs.

However, the most powerful form of love is when it’s unconditional.

In the world of intellectual challenges there is absolutely nothing more important than unconditional love. Whether it is a developmental disability, a traumatic brain injury, dementia, a brain tumor, a stroke or some other kind of disease or disorder, these individuals can be vulnerable and at risk. Their welfare, out of necessity, is usually entrusted to family members who do everything in their power to ensure the lives of their loved ones are fulfilling and meaningful, and that they are treated with dignity and respect.

The true potential of unconditional love is evidenced by all of the positive benefits it provides to another person. It ensures that they are cared for, valued and appreciated. It supports and nurtures them so that their lives are richer and more rewarding. It transforms attitudes and beliefs which can erase negative feelings and heal broken relationships. This form of all-encompassing devotion provides assurance that there will always be someone they can count on when they feel alone, excluded or forgotten.

Being loved unconditionally gives a person a feeling of self-worth because it allows them to freely express who they are without the fear of rejection. It gives them a sense of belonging, by allowing them to experience acceptance. There is no need for them to pretend to be something they are not. It’s okay to be real, to feel insecure and to experience fear and uncertainty. It lets a person know they can fail without being considered inferior. It embraces the individual no matter what their flaws. They are not forced to live up to arbitrary expectations, because unconditional love is not based on what someone can do, it is based on who someone is.

The intense desire to be loved unconditionally cannot be measured. It is craved for the beautiful way that it forgives and does not hold a grudge. It is treasured for its ability to comfort as it envelopes an individual with understanding instead of judgment. It is coveted because of its power to remain steadfast in good times and in bad, standing shoulder to shoulder with a person no matter what the circumstances. It is embraced tightly because it is eternal. Unconditional love never waivers, and it never gives up. It is life affirming, sharing hope and encouragement in the darkest hours, and providing warmth against the cold harshness of reality.

To be the recipient of unconditional love is to receive one of life’s greatest gifts. But, unfortunately, many are not so fortunate. There are those who desperately need that kind of attention and acknowledgement, but it is never offered. They go through life without ever experiencing the joy and peace that comes from knowing that somebody cares deeply about them and will always be there for them. When that type of relationship is not present, it creates an emptiness that is impossible to ignore. There is always something missing, and a person does not feel complete.

On the other hand, many people, at one point, had someone in their life that showered them with unconditional love, but death tragically swept them away. That kind of profound loss creates a level of grief that hurts the very core of our being because we not only miss the person’s physical presence, we also miss the way they made us feel.

Unconditional love is demonstrated in countless ways, however, the purest form is when it’s shared without the expectation of having it returned. When someone in your life has experienced a traumatic brain injury and no longer recognizes those who were important to them, the love you have for that person is unconditional. When a parent has a child with an intellectual challenge who does not interact with those around them, there is the possibility that their love may never be returned in a demonstrative way. When someone cares about a person who is in the grips of dementia and no longer remembers the people they were close to, the love they feel for them may no longer be returned. In such cases, the love is not based on the condition that it be visibly reciprocated, but rather the commitment that is shared is total, complete and without end.

On both an intellectual and emotional level, the profound life changing quality of unconditional love transcends our ability to fully understand it.




Comments

Trackback Link
http://www.meadowsoklahoma.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=15938&PostID=1485173&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

LATEST NEWS


Politics and Developmental Disabilities

Michael Crawley - Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The regrettable state of politics in our nation is a concern for all of us. Unfortunately, many people do not take the actions, or lack of action, by elected officials seriously – until it suddenly affects them personally. But if we allow ourselves to step back and look at the bigger picture, we can see that political decisions impact all of our lives in profound ways. 
Read More


The Meadows 2017 Walk-A-Thon

Michael Crawley - Monday, August 28, 2017

Once again it is time for our annual Walk-A-Thon fundraiser. Each year we ask individuals, families, organizations, businesses, and corporations for their financial support to assist us in our ongoing mission to provide jobs for men and women who have developmental disabilities as well as other intellectual and physical challenges. 
Read More


Inspiration Not Required

Michael Crawley - Friday, April 21, 2017

Because we employ individuals with developmental disabilities, the staff of the Meadows is frequently told that the work we do is “inspiring”. The people who pay us this particular compliment are just being kind. They mean well, and we appreciate that. However, the truth is, we are just average men and women who have chosen this field and who are doing our best to assist those with intellectual and physical challenges, while at the same time earning a pay check. We are nothing more or less. 
Read More


The Good

Michael Crawley - Saturday, April 08, 2017

Each day, through our constant exposure to television, newspapers and social media, we are buried under an avalanche of bad news. From the moment we start our day, until we turn off the light at night, we endure an onslaught of negative stories about people hurting and mistreating each other in heartbreaking ways. We are steadily worn down by the worst behavior that mankind engages in, to the point where it becomes easy to believe that the world is an evil place and that there is little hope that we can change it - but that is not the truth.  
Read More


The Eulogy

Michael Crawley - Friday, March 24, 2017

Even though the church was small, Reverend Hansen estimated it was less than half full. Only the immediate family and a few acquaintances had bothered to come together on this blustery January day to pay their last respects to Donald Phillips, a man who, during his eighty plus years of life, had survived a multitude of challenges that included being ignored and rejected by those around him.  
Read More


A Gathering Place

Michael Crawley - Friday, March 10, 2017

The large room is located near the front of our facility. It has sixteen long tables and can comfortably seat sixty people. Mounted on a wall are three computer stations that are used to clock people in and out. On one side of the room there are eight microwaves, and on the other side is a water fountain. Three of the four walls are lined with lockers, but there are no locks because there is trust.  
Read More


The Reality of Employment

Michael Crawley - Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Meadows Center for Opportunity was established in 1983 for the sole purpose of employing adults with developmental disabilities. It has been our privilege to work with many different men and women through the years, and we are honored that some of these individuals are still working with us, more than three decades later. 
Read More


Fading Away

Michael Crawley - Saturday, November 26, 2016

Jim Haley pushed the doorbell for the third time, and guessed correctly that his sister was not wearing her hearing aids. He waited for a couple of seconds and then rapped forcefully on the door. After a few more moments he finally heard noise from inside. Slowly the door was unlocked and opened slightly. Jim watched with amusement as his sister’s face peeked out. 
Read More


Unconditional Love

Michael Crawley - Sunday, November 13, 2016

Love is the most powerful force there is because it brings people together in a way that nothing else can. Without it, humanity could not survive. Fortunately, the world is blessed with many different types of love. There is the romantic attraction shared by two people. There is the affection that results from deep friendship. And there is the deep and abiding love that dwells in a family, particularly parental love for their children. All of these produce intense feelings that create a willingness to focus on someone else’s needs. 
Read More


Brothers and Sisters

Michael Crawley - Friday, October 28, 2016

 
Read More



View Larger Map



The Meadows
Center for Opportunity

1000 South Kelly
Edmond, Oklahoma
73003-6081

phone: 405.348.4470
fax: 405.340.5395