Hello Elsa -
I have this recurring pattern in my life: I expect great things from people I encounter and connect with, and then end up disappointed or let down somehow over and over again.
But it seems to work both ways — as in as many times I feel let down by someone, I, in turn, seem to have let them down as well. Yet it’s nothing as concrete as in having huge dramatic scenes. Rather, it's a gradual a descent into disillusionment.
The thing is, I really want to figure out how to turn this pattern around or work with it to make my relationships more mutually beneficial and less mutually disappointing. Any ideas?
Yes, I have ideas. You are very idealistic. You obviously need to lower your standards, which actually means raise them, and I will explain.
People are very, very flawed. Every single one of them. So if you are looking for perfection, you are bound to be disappointed, but check this:
My lifelong friend Scott is a classical pianist. I was 15 when I met him and, being from the desert, I had no sophistication of any kind. Yeah, I know. Nothing much has changed. But anyway, I remember him telling me about this piece of recorded music he liked to listen to. He said there were mistakes all through it, but he thought it the best recording of this piece, ever.
He went on to mention that other people had made recordings of this certain piece that were flawless. No mistakes at all.
“What? Why don’t you listen to one of them?” I asked. "Why do you want to hear the thing messed up?”
And he explained the flawed recording was full of passion and far more powerful than the mistake-free recordings. He said it had tremendous heart the other recordings lacked. It moved him. So are you getting this?
The messed up people who fail to meet your ideal standard are the beautiful ones. The ones with the nuance, the quirks, and the various facets and shortcomings are the real ones. Loving them as they are is what love is. And if you can change your perspective and start looking at people through this kind of lens, your life is going to improve immeasurably.
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