Agápē: embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends, that serves regardless of circumstances.
There are so many levels to this love thing. As a species, we have a hard time with this idea of unconditional love. I've learned that conceptually, we may understand or have an idea of what it could be, but in practice...? There's a condition, at least one and all conditions are not created equal.
Every one has a "don't fly list". You know, those things that just don't fly with us, those boundaries we set as the limitations for our love. Of course, we don't think of them that way. We see them as protection against those things and people that have come to hurt us.
Now, there's nothing wrong with protecting your heart, until there is. We have to find the balance between self preservation and Agápē, which is difficult, especially in this era we are living in. We can be so unforgiving, and gleefully so. We pride ourselves on our ability to cut people off expediently for crossing those boundaries we've set on our love. If people don't love us the way we decide we should be loved they are disposable. It's incredibly frustrating because we expect people to love us past our flaws, but have a hard time doing the same.
The only person I know as the perfect example of this balance is God Himself, so don't beat yourself too bad about it, but definitely think about what this means. In the hurt blog, I reference Matthew 18:35, which talks about forgiving others because God forgives us. Consider Luke 6:31:
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."
If forgiving others like God forgives seems like too much pressure to be perfect, remember to treat others the way you want to be treated. Love others the way you want to be loved. You still probably won't make it to unconditional love all the time, but its a really great place to start.
Likewise, you are to love yourself the way God loves you. It's a circular idea. God loves you, you love God, so that you can love you, that you may love others more perfectly.
I John 4:8
"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
"Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God."
Do you love you at least that much? It's a a funny thing to ask, but how much are you willing to sacrifice to show yourself love? God gave His son, what are you giving you to show that you love you?