Friday, November 27, 2020

November 27--This is a Biggie

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.  --Thomas Merton

    It seems that we have so much trouble just being ourselves that of course, it's a challenge to let others be "perfectly themselves." There is always something to improve in us, and we then project that onto others. The concept that I should stay out of other folks' business was not one I was raised with. Having a practicing codependent perfectionist for a mom taught me that if I knew better, I should do better, and you should, too. 
    It was in the 12-Step program in my early 30s that I was introduced to the Serenity Prayer (which I have modified slightly): God grants me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I learned in program that I am the only one I can change and (drum roll), I don't have to worry about anyone else. Really!?!?! Holy cow, that simplifies life! The relief I felt was staggering, and I still carry that lightness with me today. And yes, it was the "beginning of love" for me. 
    If you have children, then you have been blessed with the opportunity "to let those we love be perfectly themselves." We guide, guard and direct them in the ways of a successful human life, and magically, a unique person develops. After such intense connection in the childhood years, it can be quite a challenge to let go. This I know. As parents and older adults, we've been there, made the mistakes, would love to give advice on how to do, be and have. It truly is love to let them go, support steadfastly, and allow them to figure out for themselves who they are and how they want to be in this world. 
    Less advice makes for better relationships. 😉😉

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