"The beginning of love is to let those we love be themselves, and not to twist them to fit our image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." - Thomas Merton
I know I've been doing a lot of quotes lately, so I promise this is the last for now. This quote is amazing. And it holds such a deep truth. More often then not people seek out someone who is as similar to them as possible. And while this has certain advantages, it makes buying food easier, it doesn't truly allow us to experience life as fully as possible. What we should make an effort to do is embrace those who are different and love them for themselves.
When I look at my friends, I find it hard sometimes to not look for parts of myself in them. This can be very hard to avoid because as humans most of us look for validation of ourselves in others. And we sometimes think that by making others like us, that we are better. But when I look at what makes my friends truly unique, I am often amazed at the depths that human beings can hold. And when I think about, if I try to twist them to an imagine, try to fit them into a category, I can not. Because they have wholly different views, experiences, and talents to draw on; and by fitting them to any image I have they loose a large amount of that 'self.' And that they're no longer the people I love, but instead some creation of my own.
This is not to say that we can't help people become more, but we must be careful to work with their own materials, instead of ones we create. So as loving people, living our daily lives, we must be watchful of how we love and that we don't twist others to fit our image.