Perfectly Themselves

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves and not twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

– Thomas Merton

{I am fascinated by people, and am always trying to figure them out – to draw connections between their words, actions, and what I know about their history – and make guesses about what’s going on in their heads. This quote is good encouragement to not jump to conclusions. None of our friends is just like us, no matter how well we get along. And no person we dislike is driven simply by a vindictive desire to make our lives difficult. People are complicated, and when we recognize this, we are better equipped to help them. And we can be more gracious when they do things that we don’t like or understand; because, chances are, there’s more going on than we know.

{It’s also good to remember this when spending time with kids. They aren’t blank slates or mini versions of their parents. Each baby a fascinating, complicated, little person. If we want to have any success helping them grow into the people they should be, we first have to get the know the people they are.}

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