Sunday, November 4, 2012

Angelic Expectations

"I am not an angel," I asserted; "and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.  Mr. Rochester, you neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me-for you will not get it, any more than I shall get if of you: which I do not at all anticipate." (Charlotte Bronte, JANE EYRE)   One of the few perks that comes with mental illness is gaining a firm grasp on the need for grace.  Grace to overlook our tedious insecurities.  Grace that moves our loved ones to email, call, and tweet reassurances time again.  Grace to accept our bizarre "quirks".  Because when we receive that type of grace, like Jane Eyre, we understand nothing celestial can ever be exacted from us, and we stop placing those childish expectations upon others.  Or as someone quite special told me: "we are all damaged goods; it goes with being human."  

I often think relationships would go so differently if we stopped expecting the impossible from other people.  Far too often, we enter relationships looking for others to fulfill our needs.  Not only is this misguided, its selfish.  Loving others isn't about what we can "get" from someone else.  Its about what we can give because we love them.  Sure, that's an ideal.  All of I Corinthians Chapter 13 is a fucking ideal.  And, yeah, despite our best efforts, we're gonna screw things all up.  Make mistakes.  Hurt the people we love.  Because that's part of being human, too.  But I think what matters most is being willing to talk things out.  Knowing that misunderstandings and miscommunications will happen because none of us are celestial beings, but those hurts aren't worth losing the one's we love.  In other words, we need to give the people who me the most to us (and in my opinion, that's the individuals who stuck by you at your worst/craziest) room to be human, too.  

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