28 January 2013

Imperfect People Who Love Me

British Throne

The woman who I shared my 4th step inventory with is the facilitator in the 12-step meeting I attend.  She was one of the first women I met when I started attending group meetings.  I ought to be careful what I share about her, but she is experienced and loving, and I spent the most vulnerable few hours of my life opening my soul to her. 

It is inevitable that the people we love and admire most will let us down at some point.  Our family members who love us most can often hurt us the deepest.  This is a great disapointment to my sensitive heart, and when I place someone on a pedastal, it can be heartbreaking to see that pedastal come crashing down as their own character weaknesses are exposed.   No one is perfect, and yet I find it a rude awakening when I've been blessed for so long to see only the good in someone. 

Last night in our "meeting after the meeting" I expressed an opinion.  It was about sex.  All eyes were on me.  But no sooner had I finished my sentence than my bold and vocal facilitator squashed it.  She was standing and all eyes snapped to her visage as she waxed eloquent refuting my experessed opinion with (what felt to me) both mockery and reason. 

I felt ashamed.  I felt like a crushed bug.  All eyes were back on me and I searched each pair for some sign of validation or support. 

It must be said that on my way home this dear woman called and offered a sincere and humble apology for the way she had treated me.  But the damage was done.  And soon enough I will forgive, but in the meantime I'm bitterly disappointed.

I told this story to Pete, and lamented the way this woman had changed in my eyes.  He said to me

"Eventually we see that everyone is human, with faults and frailties.  I don't think we can really know anyone until we see that."

I guess the trick is finding a way to let those faults and frailties fill me with more love, rather than less.  I've been reading in the Book of Mormon, about Moroni and Pahoran.  Moroni, the equivalent of an army general was out fighting a war and wondering why Pahoran, the equivalent of a president or king wasn't sending any aid or assistance.  Moroni, who the Book of Mormon regales with praise, writes a scathing letter to Pahoran. 

How painful it must have been for Pahoran to get that letter.  Moroni was his friend, and he wrote words like "condemnation", "slothfulness", and "negligence." And how does Pahoran respond?  Just like I did, says the girl who drove home in a fury and refused to even listen to the voicemail apology until the next morning. 

Or not.  Rather Pahoran said:

"And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart."  Then he proceeded to give a very reasonable explanation for the alleged crimes Moroni had laid against him.

I know my facilitator friend is so much more than she was in that moment.  I know Pete is so much more than his addiction.  I know that I am so much more than the insecure and self-pitying person who can't tolerate being disagreed with. 

So even if I put people on a pedastal that eventually comes crashing down, it doesn't have to be the end of my relationship with them, better yet it can be the beginning of a REAL relationship, with a REAL and imperfect person. 


  1. I love that last paragraph in particular. There is power in REAL relationships, which I think is only possible through the Atonement. To let Christ absorb the messiness of mortal relationships helps make it possible to accept the mess, I think.

    And I love how the recovery process invites us to be REAL with God and with ourselves, first and foremost. To me, it's like the pattern in Enos's experience: Once he was able to see that God loved him in spite of his weakness, he was able to extend that love to others, even his enemies.

  2. You always have such thought provoking posts. I love what Pete said and the last paragraph that goes along with it. It makes me think a lot about what someone wrote in the forum once about how this whole experience helped them "grow up" in a way. I find that my outlook/expectations about life and others and even myself used to be a certain way, but it is starting to change - in a more REALISTIC way I think. And I'm sure it will continue to change as I continue to grow up and go through more experiences. Anyway, thanks for sharing...again! :)

  3. I am like you...can't stand it when someone disagrees with me. My mother-in-law did something like that to me last week and I shut down inside. Felt belittled! I have since let go of the offense, but it's so hard in the moment. I hope I can get to a place someday where I don't let other people's opinions, make me feel small and unimportant. This is something I want to talk with my therapist about and work through.

    I love when I read posts like this I am reminded of things I need to work on. Thanks for the your thoughts:)

  4. This is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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