My name is Abigail and I am free from conditions!
I was nineteen years old laying in a strange man’s bed when I learned what unconditional love was. I was backstage painting a set that was part of my major’s requirement at the time covered in chalk and beige paint from my red sweatpants to the many misplaced hairs on my head.
Amidst the soulful strums of my favorite artist India Arie, a man approached me unromantically asking if I wanted to “Come to his place later to hang out.”
Newly single and speechless a man besides my 3-year ex-boyfriend found me attractive. I found myself in his bed that night entangled with sheets and regret. As he held me to sleep I ached for deep conversation. I asked him about his past, had he ever been in love, and what exactly he saw in me that made him come up to my painted, messy, broken self that Friday evening. Every response he
As he held me to sleep I ached for deep conversation.
I asked him about his past: had he ever been in love? What exactly did he see in me that made him come up to my painted, messy, broken self that Friday evening? Every response he gave led to an advance to kiss me, but as I pushed him away I answered the questions I asked him pretending he was as curious about me as I was about him.
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About 6am that morning he got up to go to the bathroom. I began to gather my clothes to try to gracefully exit his room when I stopped one pant leg in and asked, “What do you think love is?” From the other room, he stopped, I could hear him thinking and he said,
“Abigail, love is used to set the other person free. If it’s not setting them free, it isn’t love.”
I sat and read about every “Free From” story on the Libero Network site to find myself asking, what am I really free from? An eating disorder? Sure. Darkness? It’s still there, but conditional love is a concept recovered Abigail no longer understands.
I had searched far and wide for a man to love me until I loved myself and had looked high and low for conditions that would make me lovable. I spent years slaving over a treadmill and bowing down to the porcelain god, so I at once could become worthy of the love I so desperately desired. Until one day I threw out the scale because I learned a number could not quantitate my worth. I
I looked inside deeper and deeper every day as I began to know the value of my worth stemmed from the character of my heart rather than the shell that carried my soul.
It took me years later to truly know what God would have me learn from a one night stand.
As I asked and waited, it finally came to me: true love is without conditions and is unconditional.
I asked that man what love was curious if my ex-boyfriend had really loved me, but what I learned later from what he told me was loving myself unconditionally has set me free.
My experience with him was a seed planted long ago that has bloomed into the most beautiful unconditional self-love tree I have seen.
As my recovery continues and my tree continues to grow, I pray to love myself a little bit more deeply every day and lot less conditionally. I pray that same prayer for all of you.
With this knowledge I was set free:
Here in this moment, I am worthy of love. Here in this moment, I am free. I invite you to my “freedom”
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