crooked heart

Accepting others and their faults can be a challenge.  There are times when I am acutely aware that I am doing so and I feel really good about myself.  I feel proud that I am so generous of spirit and willing to extend my kindness and love despite their flaws and crookedness.  I feel generous and kind and just all around better.

Here’s the thing, though . . . when I feel really proud of myself for loving others, faults and all, it means I am excepting them, not accepting them.  It means I’m pretending I don’t have any flaws.   My faults are hiding in the pretense of loving my crooked neighbor, but only half-heartedly, because I am not willing to own my own “crookedness.”  See, my own faults can make me feel stingy and small and just all around bad. 

It seems much harder to look honestly at myself, accept – not except – my own faults, choose to love myself anyway, and love my flawed neighbors, too.  Then I can love my own crooked heart and appreciate its capacity to live and grow in compassion and honesty.  At these times I don’t feel overly proud of myself for loving my crooked neighbor; I don’t feel falsely better.  I feel truly better and I feel connected.  At those times I can look directly at your crooked heart, love it wholly with my own, and hope that you do, too.


Another Time
By W.H. Auden
Whitney Cain