I watched as the good feelings in the room inspired him. He was one of the hosts and feeling the joy of his guests, he wanted insurance to keep it going.
In a flurry of excitement, off he went to get more limes. Acting from the best of him, he wanted to please others. Returning, before anyone could miss him, proving the efficiency with which he accomplished any task, smiling widely, he swung a bag of limes and sundry goodies onto the kitchen counter.
He was back into the party, blissful to be of service.
I lost sight of him until later when we met in the kitchen. Leaning towards me he whispered his disappointment. With loving intent, he had also bought a Margarita mix. Unfortunately, after dotingly making a drink for someone and they had taken a sip, without acknowledgement, she walked away leaving it behind. His high feeling now deflated and in his confusion anxiously searching for what went wrong when all he wanted was to please, his beautiful eyes glowed with sadness.
Agitated, the consequence of someone’s disregard of a friendship offering, he was struggling with his anger. Although the other was ignorant of what had led up to the moment when she was handed a margarita for her pleasure, her lack of consideration for his feelings demonstrated her harshness. She did not like the drink, had no appreciation for the effort and no kindness to soften her rejection.
He had failed to please and she had not cared to soften the slight.
His anger came from many places and masked the deeper feeling, hurt.
He had fallen from a high place of hope into the starkness of reality. It was a snap from a long line of trying to be better while others in their ignorance constantly communicate, he is not good enough. It was another addition piled on a mountain of fruitless attempts.
Looking into those pain filled eyes, wanting to erase the pain, yet feeling helpless because even in the trying, I knew it was an impossible venture.
For how could I comfort him by telling him what he hadn’t considered. In suggesting a reason that may mollify her rejection, the consistent, you are not good enough, would again be communicated. Offering my information of which he had not as yet realized would, in fact, increase his feeling of inadequacy. My correcting information would hurt him further. Complicating the situation more, in that moment, supporting his anger would have done him a disservice. I would have confirmed a conclusion he had created in anger. In his life situation, it was imperative to keep good feelings about this person.
Yes, her behavior was harsh, ungracious and unkind but there was more to her story.
Helplessly I stood there, loving him with all my heart, knowing he could not be better. In his relentless effort to be a good man at any given moment, he does his best and cannot do more, but I was and am incapable of showing his true self to him. His idealized-self blocks access; an idealized self that as his mother, I helped create! An idealized self that by this woman's actions had not been good enough.
Pleasing others is ever precarious nonetheless, this is how we validate ourselves. It is also how we build and strengthen relationships.
We are taught that an idealized self, validated by others is to whom we should aspire. We all learn this early and quickly as our parents, school teachers, peers, bosses and lovers smile when we please them and scowl when we do not.
What they all fail to communicate, what I didn't know as a victim of the system myself, is that each of us, a perfect learning entity, have not been informed that we are perfect learning entities.
It is an incorrect perception that we are imperfect beings trying to be better for what could be more excellent than an improvement process that is programmed to keep improving?
Unfortunately, ideal preferential complexities reigning supreme in relationship hide this liberating unconditional truth.