‘The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” (Thomas Merton)
Oh, this is a really tough one, especially because I think that most of the time we don’t even realize that we are doing this.
How many times are we disappointed because people don’t do what we:
- think they should
- expect them to
- want them to
Don’t they get it? Why would they say/do that? I would never……
Well, isn’t that what Merton is saying? We are not letting them be ‘perfectly themselves,’ we are ‘twisting them to fit our own image.’ It’s difficult to accept people as they are, and even harder to love them. And yet, that is what we are called to do.
My prayer: Help me to celebrate the ‘other-ness’ in people. Dim the reflection of myself that I am tempted to look for in them.