For a long time, I felt unhappy.
People weren't being who I wanted them to be. They refused to fit in the boxes that I had created for them. They didn't choose what I wanted. They didn't say what I had planned.
I was unhappy and I felt frustrated. That all sounds very silly... but I was.
I had reasons that sounded really noble for why I wanted them to mold themselves into the people I'd designed. It was for their own good, wasn't it? If they could just change in the way that I wanted them to change... or choose the things that I thought was best for them to choose, they'd be happier. They'd be wiser. They'd be...
... who I wanted.
If I was honest, I wasn't noble. My intentions were far more selfish than they were loving.
And so, I stopped.
I stopped demanding that they be the people I wanted them to be. I stopped pushing and pulling them into my molds. I stopped giving them lines and then being upset when they didn't say them.
Sometimes that meant that we walked away. We realized that who they really were and who I really was didn't quite work -- and so we quietly said goodbye. Sometimes that meant we grew closer -- that putting away my demands allowed them to give more freely.
Sometimes it changed nothing, and merely allowed me to accept people for how they are... for who they are... and made me realize that if I wanted people to accept me for myself, strengths and flaws and all... I needed to be willing to do the same for them.
Without judgment. But with love.