Conditional TIME

By Greg Baer M.D.

June 24, 2015

Susan wrote to me: “I have a friend, Joanne, who is a member of our Real Love group. We’ve been trying to help her for a year, but she never listens. She just defends herself, justifies her horrible relationships, and continues in the same unhappy behaviors she had when she first found Real Love. She keeps calling me for love and support, but I wonder if I’m doing her any good. I also feel obligated to help her, because if I do pull away from her, I feel like I’ll be proving that my love is conditional. I just don’t think I can help her, but how can I justify letting her go?”

You’ve given untold hours and a great deal of love to Joanne for a year. That’s amazing. But she has proven that she’d rather live her way than listen to a happier way of living. She has a right to do that, but now the question is what is the best choice for you.

Just because someone chooses to live in the dark doesn’t mean we have to join them. Other people have every right to ignore our love and guidance, but we are not obligated to continue giving to them. How could that not be conditional loving?

Because we all have limited TIME in life. There are people who WANT our love and guidance, and I personally can’t justify continuing to give my time to those who refuse it while withholding it from those who want and need it. If I had infinite time, I’d never give up on anyone, but my time is not infinite. I have to make choices about where to use it, and those choices include my wife, children, and others I have promised to love and teach. On occasion, I must choose to let some people go so I can continue to love those who will make use of my time.

All this is consistent with the Law of Choice. People have the right to choose to throw my time and love away, but I also have the right to then give that time and love to others. When people refuse my love, do I withdraw because I don’t love them? No. Because I’m punishing them? No. Am I angry? No. I stop spending TIME with them simply because MY TIME is LIMITED. I withdraw without regret or anger and spend my time elsewhere. I continue to love difficult people unconditionally, but I give my time with conditions.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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