Photo taken by me at the Botanical Gardens and digitally altered.
Unconditional love is a rare virtue. We would all like to think we love unconditionally yet as humans we will fault. I think there are two necessary components to loving and being loved in this manner.
First is shedding all expectations. We naturally expect certain things from our family and friends. We expect respect, love, generosity and much more. When we do not receive what we expect from people, which we not always will, we become angry, disappointed and sometimes vengeful. If we learned to shed all of our expectations and accept our friends and family members for who they are we would never have to experience the anger and disappointment which comes from our expectations.
Second we absolutely must learn not to judge. Everyone is equal. No one is better or worse than anyone else. We have to put ourselves in others' shoes. How do we feel when we are judged? Live and let be. Allow people to live their own lives and make their own mistakes. Whether you agree with someones decisions or not, do not judge them but rather be there and support them in whatever they choose.
It is difficult to absorb this mindset until you ask yourself two things. Do I want to be judged for who I am or what I do? And, Do I enjoy everyone expecting things from me? Only then can you experience unconditional love for yourself and others.
It however can be done and once you've experienced it your life will never be the same.