Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love does Not Fashion Others Into One's Own Image

It is the height of arrogance, manipulation and control to try to make other people into one's own image. I often meet people who try to make some significant other into a "normal" person like they are; into someone who thinks their thoughts, likes their likes, wants their wants, and desires their desires. Parents do this to children, friends do this to friends, lovers do this to their beloved. What is this evil thing that wants to live vicariously through other people?

Thomas Merton writes: “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.”

Real love lets the other be who they are, and champions them to be better than they both are. The one who can love someone just as they are is a sign of the lover's freedom. It's an insecure person who needs others to be just like them and agree with them on everything. The truth is that if both people agree on everything then one of them is not needed. That's precisely how the other will feel as the image-controller manipulates them.

Discover the reality of your own self, before God, in Christ.

Release other people to do the same.

Doing these things makes life lighter, more truthful, and more joy-filled.