“We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.”
Wow. The other day, I was scouring the web to find content for this next blog post. After going through a lot of ideas that were unappealing to me I had just about given up hope. That’s when I came across this quote from Anais Nin. Anais Nin has always been someone who I’ve admired. Although, I’ve never met her, she died well before I was born (1977) I’ve always respected her and her contribution to the literary arts.
For all of those who do not know who she was, Anais Nin was a French-Cuban author based in France then later in the US whose published journals spanned across 60 years. She is considered a diarist and dipped into erotica for a bit of time. Her main writings were mostly about her relationships and personal life. I believe it takes a lot of guts to publish such personal information for the world to see.
With the rise of the feminist movement in the 60s, people often added that spin to her work. She tried to disassociate herself from the political movement, but still to this day you often hear her name in those.
The above quote was taken from one of her published works. It gave me pause because I know I have done this. It is such an unconscious process. I pull out the positives of a person or distort their behavior to create this image of them that is flawed. It is unfair to myself as well as to the object of my affections. When I awaken from this illusion that I’ve created, I am left with a sour taste in my mouth because they are not up to the level of my expectations.
This is when the arguments start, the tears flow, and the pain crashes against the walls of a broken heart. The heart that wouldn’t have felt such pain if I had taken those rose-colored glasses off from the get go.
To truly love and understand someone you must see them for who they really are and accept any flaws that you may come across. It is not deluding yourself into believing that they are this awesome, perfect person because you want them to be. I’ve come to learn that perfection is boring. Where’s the interest in someone who is always saying the right things, always good at everything, always above everyone else? Where is the growth? Isn’t life about growth and learning? A person who wants to be perfect would be in a state of stasis their entire lives and that’s not interesting at all.
I am challenging myself to start seeing the people around me as they are. In addition to that I am going to attempt to not judge those people for not meeting the expectations that I have set. By doing this I can get to know the real person and may surprise myself by the new things I learn about them.
I want to challenge all of you to do the same. It is not an easy challenge and it takes one day at a time, but I believe that this can help minimize misunderstandings between people.
*Photos were taken in Kent, OH.