I originally wrote this for iEatGrass.com.
Did anyone see that movie that came out a while ago, The Perks of Being a Wallflower? I did, and it was underwhelming, at best. However, I also read the book, which was much better—a sort of grade B Catcher in the Rye.
The storyline follows this kid Charlie who has dealt with some deep trauma as a child and as a result is extremely introverted. Now in early high school, he is hyper-aware of those around him while being ironically blind to his own actions and what they are stemming from. The story grapples with sexuality, social acceptance, and a variety of other coming-of-agisms, but one of the broader themes is the acceptance of love.
Charlie watches his loved ones suffer through these relationships with people who generally treat them like shit, while they overlook those who might treat them better. Plot details aside, the reason this book resonated with me is because of a single, well-delivered line: We accept the love we think we deserve.
Even though the book wasn’t overly sensational, I haven’t been able to stop mulling over that one liner, and the use of the word “think.” We don’t accept the love we deserve…if we’re good people, we deserve good love. Instead, we accept the love we THINK we deserve. This concept is all about self awareness and respect, or a lack thereof.
Ugh, sorry, have I lost you? Bear with me. I am not religious or particularly spiritual, but when it comes to energy, I have always believed that the energy we put out into the world will come back to us. This has pretty much been my view on romance, too. Give love, and you will receive love. That’s been my hope, at least. However, I had never stopped to think about what would happen if we put out good love, but do not accept the love we receive in return, or, if we specifically seek out affection that matches our own view of self.
Everyone knows that really amazing, smart, funny, sexy person who always ends up dating people who treat them poorly. And not only do they find these people, but they often keep them. They accept this sub-par love. It’s one thing to accidentally fall for a dickwad, or someone who doesn’t treat you well. However, it’s another thing to fall for someone who doesn’t treat you well, and accept it.
Or maybe they don’t accept it. They leave, but only to move on to the next person who won’t treat them well, continuing a cycle of relationships with identical endings, expecting to eventually find someone different and then wondering why that person doesn’t materialize. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Is the problem really coming from inside? Are they putting out an energy that says, “I don’t expect to be treated well”? Did I just turn into a new-agey Carrie Bradshaw minus the shoe collection? Yikes.
Like just about anybody with a childhood, I had some self-esteem issues growing up. But since I departed from the pit of emotional hell (highschool), found a a group of good people who like me for and not despite of my quirks, landed a job that gives me a sense of purpose, and adopted a cat that purrs at the mere sight of me, I have begun to consider myself to be at least relatively well adjusted and secure.
So why can’t I stop thinking about that one liner?
I am sorry that this post wasn’t full of the usual raunchy banter or blowjob humor…I have been doing a lot of introspection lately, and this acceptance of love, and its coinciding reflection of our own feelings of self worth, is one of the things I have been ruminating on. Tomorrow I blast off to Hawaii for a much needed visit to see my mother, as long as this impending storm doesn’t mess up my plans.
So tell me what you think about love and acceptance! Do you get seriously annoyed at that “I-Always-Date-The-Wrong-People” friend we all have?Are YOU that friend? Does your cat greet you at the door like a dog? Mine does, and it makes me feel so so so good!