In Others’ Words: Perfect

Beginning of love Thomas Merton Quote 11.18.13

I want to expound on Thomas Merton’s quote — but really, he’s spoken the truth so eloquently.

Love is letting others be.

It’s not some twisted you-look-like-me-and-I-look-like-you relationship where there’s no emotional breathing space.

And sometimes we don’t understand the truth that love begins when I’m me and you’re you until we’ve spent too many years pretending to be someone we’re not.

There’s freedom in loving you because you’re you — not because you’re a reflection of me. Anything else is some twisted version of “Mirror, Mirror.”

When you are being you — you’re perfect. You’re being who God created you to be — and you’re reflecting His image.

And that, my friend, is eternal.

In Your Words: Where are you able to be perfectly yourself? How do you avoid twisting your image to reflect someone else?

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves.” Click to Tweet

Love is Letting Others Be  Click to Tweet

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  1. November 18, 2013, 7:06 am   /  Reply

    Good post, and good question!

    I’m not sure I ever want to be perfectly myself – there are too many ‘boxes int he basement’ that are heartbreaking to open.

    Maybe the only way to get past this is to try to be a perfect reflector of Christ? I don’t know. But I do know that being ‘fully me’ is not a place I willingly go.

    • November 18, 2013, 12:20 pm   /  Reply

      I think it is about being perfectly me in Christ, Andrew. Only then are my wounds healed. They’re not hidden.

  2. November 18, 2013, 8:08 am   /  Reply

    Oh man, I don’t even know what else to say to that quote and this post but “YES.” It’s so true. I feel most loved when I feel most open to be me. My family and close friends make me feel that way. In fact, I think that’s one of the biggest indicators that a friendship is meant to be…when there’s this almost uncanny and awesome comfort level with being just…Melissa, quirks and all. 🙂

    • November 18, 2013, 12:21 pm   /  Reply

      Exactly, Melissa. Exactly. I read this quote and thought: What else, what more, is there to say?

      And yes (again): the joy of relationships where I am embraced as me — the real me.

  3. November 18, 2013, 8:16 am   /  Reply

    What a profound quote. I’m probably most perfectly myself when I’m interacting w/ grandkids or in a classroom teaching, caring more about helping others “get it,” whatever “it” is on the occasion, than thinking about myself.

    • November 18, 2013, 12:22 pm   /  Reply

      Giving it others is such an integral part of who you are, Delores — it’s woven into the fabric of your identity.

  4. November 18, 2013, 8:27 am   /  Reply

    Great quote and great thoughts, Beth. And so challenging to remember. I say, “I found myself in my forties.” I am finally comfortable (well, mostly) with who I am. There are certain people who create that safe place for me to be who I am and who I am becoming. They accept me, insecurities, quirks and all.

    I still struggle, at times, with the knowledge that I don’t have to twist myself to reflect someone else. I try to remember God created me to be … me. Not someone else. There is reassurance in this, because I know He values me and that is enough.

    • November 18, 2013, 12:23 pm   /  Reply

      I think it’s only as we grow up — and others grow up — that we can finally find safe, real relationships.

  5. November 18, 2013, 6:52 pm   /  Reply

    I like how you say that, as a unique creation of God, of course you are different from everyone else, and trying to conform to everyone’s expectations actually works against the goal of making you a unique being. It seems to me that many people who reject the idea of God do so because they think that acknowledging God means that they are conforming to someone else’s ideals and being untrue to themselves — whereas, in fact, unless God has individually created each of us, we cannot come up with a true justification for celebrating our uniqueness, and conformity to fads and arbitrary rules becomes easier.

  6. November 18, 2013, 10:48 pm   /  Reply

    This is exactly the definition of love that my friend Betty gave me years ago. I loved it then and I love it now. Thanks, Beth.

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