How do I have unconditional love for a family member that I’m mad at?


Dear Laurie,

It can be very challenging to have unconditional love for an adult that I’m not happy with in my family. How do I do this? Can you give me some tips?

Thank you so much!


Dear Jenny,

I understand, it definitely can be challenging, especially if you feel someone is disrespecting you. If you have any anger, disappointment, hurt or distain for this person, it’s important to process your emotions and do a forgiveness exercise. This will assist you in bringing your power back to yourself and keeping yourself in a state of inner peace and harmony. And it will help you respond versus react to him or her in a responsible manner.

If you haven’t already, accept this person for who they are without wanting, hoping, expecting or needing for them to be different. Accepting a person as they are doesn’t mean you accept rude or disrespectful behavior. It means you are not in resistance toward him or her. Resistance causes angst and moving into acceptance will set you free.

Your priority is unconditional love for self. And maybe the most unconditionally loving act is that you have boundaries. You can express your boundaries through communication or choose not to be around them that frequently. And if this is what you choose, do so without any guilt. If this person is not supportive, encouraging or kind, then they are not a natural resonance for you right now. You are worthy of kind, loving and supportive energy and it begins with you being this way toward yourself. It is an act of love to remove yourself from situations that don’t make you feel good and bring yourself to a more comfortable environment.

With all this being said, you can still maintain love for this person by recognizing them as a divine being and not making them bad or wrong. Try not to judge this person and list all the things you don’t like about him or her. Trust how you feel and navigate yourself accordingly. I don’t know any details of your situation. You can ask yourself, “What is the most loving, authentic and empowering choice for myself?” “How can I have compassion for this person?” “What is the highest and best way to express my feelings and needs?”

Look at “why” this person pushes your buttons and takes you out of peace. Are you taking anything personally? See if there is a part of you that is looking for recognition or validation. If so, this is a good sign that you can practice recognizing this within yourself and not needing anything from him or her. Practicing unconditional love begins with feeling this within ourselves.

For information on processing emotions and forgiveness exercises and other personal growth information, please refer to my new book “Language of the Heart: Unconditional Love, Living Fully Empowered.” It is available on and my website.

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Laurie Martin is a certified life coach, speaker, yoga teacher and advice columnist. Laurie is the author of three books: “Language of the Heart: Unconditional Love, Living Fully Empowered,” “Smile Across Your Heart: The Process of Building Self-Love,” and an ebook, “The Conscious Breakup Guide, Navigating Yourself Through the End of Your Relationship.” To contact Laurie, please email her at Her website is