I've written a post similar to this one recently, but this one will most likely go a lot more in depth (depending on my attention span.) Watching Les Miserables, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and many conversations as of late have caused me to plunge into a great deal of thinking about perspective.
This is a post about love, but not about dating.
Someone pointed out today that everyone just wants to feel safe.
Everyone just wants to feel loved.
How often do you find yourself pointing out the faults of others, telling them what they aren't doing right, or how they can change? This next part I write at the risk of being hypocritical, but this is not vindictive, or to put him down or to sound self righteous, it's to illustrate my point. I was dating someone that at one point in our relationship told me all the things he thought I was doing wrong. When I asked him why he felt the need to tell me what my faults were (as if I wasn't already aware..) he told me he just wanted to give me the opportunity to change before they were aspects that he would break up with me over. Umm, thanks? (Side note--if you are with someone that has quirks that bother you enough that you feel the need to bring them up in attempts to change them, you probably (definitely) shouldn't be with that person..) I am well aware as much as anyone else that I am so far from perfect. That's just a fact of life--no one will achieve perfection in this life. Period. And that being the case, I know many (if not most) people do this--point out what other people are doing wrong, but how can that be justified when the person pointing it out is far from perfect themselves? It's unnecessary. Because people just want to be loved. I'm a very firm believer that all wrong doings could be stopped if people just loved each other. In Les Mis, Jean Valjean let all of the hatred he held in his heart go when he was shown compassion. Charlie--from Perks of Being a Wallflower was so unsure of who he was and was dealing with such heavy, traumatic experiences that at one (maybe more? I only saw it once) point of the movie, he took drugs because he wanted to feel peace, escape. When he is high off his butt, Sam finds him, and rather than criticising him for what he had done, she holds him. She loves him. He feels safety in this group of friends, and he finds his reason to choose happiness.
Happiness is not a choice--it is a series of choices that we must make over and over again.
Think of how much people would actually change if they wanted to because they felt love and could see the difference a change in their lived would make, because they can see it in someone else's life. I don't believe in changing people. I believe in being an example, in loving--completely, unconditionally. You don't get to choose the parts of people to love. You love people entirely, for everything they are--the good, the bad, and everything in between.
I have a dear friend that I've known for a couple years now. When I first moved to Provo, I practically lived at his apartment, I was over there so often. However, none of my other friends liked him all that much. They all thought he was rude and always asked me why I saw him so often. Now, the reality is, he can be quite rude, and has treated me poorly. So why do I go see him? Because, and I say this not to try and put myself in some kind of sainthood, but simply that I really feel like he doesn't have many people in his life that build him up and are kind to him. If I can be someone that is nice to him and makes him feel of worth, that makes him feel loved, then why wouldn't I spend time with him? I think it's hard (although definitely not impossible) to show compassion when you are never shown any.
I know some really incredible people. My family and friends are truly wonderful, always opening their hearts and doing what they can to make other people feel special, important. I owe so much of who I am and my views about myself to their kindness. My parents whom, even when I went through those really rough, awkward years (it hits some of us harder than others) always told me I was beautiful, and encouraged my testimony and spirit. My siblings who tell me I'm funny. My best friend who has never put me down, even in jokes. These people truly make me feel worthwhile, and I think its the bare minimum I can do to try and return that favor to anyone else. Because we all deserve it.
So maybe, rather than judging others that make mistakes different than you, we can all just try to understand. We all are flawed. We all mess up. But that's what makes us human. That's what makes us beautiful. Despite all the things we do wrong, I think everyone deep down is trying to do what they think is right. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said so eloquently "don't judge me because I sin differently than you." Back tracking a little to Les Mis again, although everyone in the story seemed to have different views and values and goals, they all were just trying to do what they thought was best. I don't condone selling your body for money, but Fantine was just trying to care for her daughter. And Javert was supposed to be the villain, but he believed in justice, and he was just trying to fight for that cause. But I digress. The point I'm trying to make, is that everyone views things differently, so before you try to change them, try first to understand what's truly in their heart, and just embrace them.
"You cannot save people. You can only love them." --Anaïs Nin