Why Bother Accepting Shortcomings?
If there is one thing all human beings have in common it is that none of us are perfect. There is not one of us who does not fall short of someone else’s expectations, standards or hopes. Consequently, we’ve all experienced at least one or more disappointing relationships. Mine was my relationship with my mother.
Emotionally Absent Mother
Though Mom carried me in her womb and birthed me, it seemed to me that our connection with each other ended the moment the umbilical cord was severed.
Mind you, I was her sixth child, born into an already busy household. And though her mother enjoyed raising a family and making her house into a home, Mom did not.
I don’t doubt that Mom fell in love with my dad. I know for a fact that when she first saw him singing in the church choir she was attracted to his tall physique. That my dad was a good dancer and made her laugh also added to her attraction for him. It seemed natural for them to marry and they did.
There was the slight possibility that she would not be able to have any children, so said her doctor. But she enjoyed saying that she proved him wrong, seven times.
Mom was proud of herself and I know having a quiver full of children made Dad happy too.
Since I connected heart to heart with Dad, it didn’t bother me that it wasn’t the same with Mom, until that is, he died. Then I thought that perhaps Mom would become an empathetic, understanding and caring parent. But she did not. As a matter of fact, our relationship worsened.
I was not the only one whose life derailed when Dad died, everyone else in the family was also affected as well, including Mom. No one spoke about the loss. Our pain went unnoticed. The confusion that came with our grief was ours alone. It was though we were to simply ignore Dad’s suicide and move on.
I’d hoped for something better from Mom and was instead terribly disappointed, even angry.
Yet, when I began my personal journey toward healing from my dad’s suicide, I realized that my mom would most likely never change. Though I was motivated to learn how to relate to people differently, she was not. Though I saw the value in doing the hard work involved in making personal changes, she was not. Although I would have liked to have had a relationship with her like I’d had with my dad, it just wasn’t possible. Over the course of time, I accepted the idea that Mom would never be any different than she was. It would be up to me to love her, just as she was.
Why bother to accept shortcomings. We can’t hold out on loving someone until they meet our expectations. Loving them now works best for both.