“We can never know in the beginning, in giving ourselves to a person, to a work, to a marriage or to a cause, exactly what kind of love we are involved with. When we demand a certain specific kind of reciprocation before the revelation has flowered completely we find our selves disappointed and bereaved and in that grief may miss the particular form of love that is actually possible but that did not meet our initial and too specific expectations.”
Expectations are a bit of a conundrum for sure; on the one hand it’s good to have standards and values that augur well for life and vitality, on the other burdening our relationships with a litany of half-examined beliefs and hopes will only suffocate their potential.
Being patient and generous enough to live our way into our loves without demanding they live up to our much esteemed ideas of what we think they ought to be about, and how they should serve us, requires a degree of maturity that few of us possess. That said, it is possible for others to behave toward us in such a way that they forfeit any right to explore such territory further. Betrayal is real and comes with equally real consequences. It’s all in the fine print.
Love is ultimately a gift.