Ever since little Oliver came into the world, the number of babies we find ourselves near has risen exponentially. And after a few months in the company of some super cute children, we started to notice just how completely unique each human being is. Though personalities emerge slowly, spending time with infants proves (to us at least) that there really is something to the idea that people come into the word with a spirit and a presence that is uniquely their own.
It’s easy to meet babies and respect their snowflake magic and to allow them to be defiant, joyous, mellow or meddlesome. Those sweet smiles and chubby thighs make supporting them exactly as they are a lot more simple. We expect nothing from them and come at them with a whole lot of love and understanding. But for some reason, we can’t seem to extend this courtesy to our parents, friends, lovers and employees. Even our children as they get older. When someone becomes an ‘adult’ we expect their weaknesses to become their strengths. We ask more from them than they are able to give and we reproach them for failing to meet our needs. We overlook their innate gifts, the ones that they are capable and confident to share. Sometimes, we even criticize those gifts.
This behavior does not come from a malicious place. We’re all only human after all. And it’s a fine line between advocating for your needs and accepting a person for who they are (even when that means they simply cannot meet our needs). We cannot be everything to everyone and it’s unfair to expect that from the people around us. This truth is not easy to reckon with. It may force us to reconsider the parameters of our relationships. It may hurt to know that someone we love isn’t able to love us back
in exactly the way we’d like. But, if we honor our loved ones for who they truly are instead of demanding things from them that are out of their reach, wouldn’t we have happier, healthy relationships in general?
What if we let our family and friends love us the way they know how to?* What if we simply enjoyed their perfectly imperfect human magnificence? What if we did the same thing for ourselves? Wouldn’t it be nice to feel wholly accepted and loved, just as you are?
*A quick note here: Sometimes the way people show love to us is not healthy for either party. It is a difficult separation but an important one. The world is not unicorns and rainbows and it’s important for people to set appropriate boundaries. Today, we’re talking specifically about those people in your life who come at you with whole hearts, healthy love and positive intentions!