I heard a very simple quote recently in a much larger context. It was a woman speaking of her experience of caring for her elderly mother with dementia. And she simply said "She has my permission [to be who she is]".
Such a simple thing and yet so difficult. How much do we actually give our loved ones permission to be who they are - and more so, celebrate that? Often, out of fear for ourselves or our own needs, we try to change them. Sometimes we want the best for them, sometimes we want the best for ourselves…but the result of wanting them to change is often the same.
I know I would like my eldest to be less expressive a lot of the time. I would like HIM to change so that I don't have to accommodate his strong opinions… but when I think deeply about that, his strength of character is something I deeply admire about him also. It's something I know will get him through life.
In doing the deep work, in finding understanding about what challenges me in those moments [when I think I want HIM to change] I realise, I don't want him to be anything other than what he is.
He has my permission. (Not that he needs it :)).
Is there anyone in your life you would like to release from expectations to be different?