Loving One Another
“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them”
―Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
In a wonderful conversation today I was able to use one of my favorite quotes (above) from one of my favorite authors.
Too often loving another person isn’t loving the person they are but who we’d like them to be. To this end we force, coerce, attempt to mold and shape the other into our ideal friend, family member, partner. We use our personality and skills to overwhelm and transition them into what we want and need.When we do this we do not honor the person, who and what they are, but make them less than ourselves.
Communication, conversation is an intimacy few people share. Often our main goal is to make them listen to us, accept our judgement of right and wrong, good and bad, positive and negative. Our language and attitude attempts to eclipse the light of their purpose and being when we should share the sacredness of words and revel in the moment which will only exist once and then be gone for all eternity.
Allowing others the freedom to be themselves, to love the genuine person, to accept them as they are is the greatest gift we can give to each other.