Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply!
Don't expect any relationship to make you happy or to live up to your expectations ~ That sentence speaks volumes. I need to remember this!
Arrogance and competition are part of the human experience. ~ I suspected! Maybe because we are insatiable creatures when it comes to our desire for love, wealth and status? These motivations are apparent in even the most "primitive" societies. I suppose these drives are hard-wired into us for survival purposes. We need to cultivate satisfaction with what we have, gratitude for what is. Such habits of the heart don't just happen.
...if we are able to love someone, that is much more important than if they are capable of loving us.~ I can only take responsibility for embodying the values and principles I cherish. Others need to do what they need to do. Also, I know that my behavior is not always in sync with my values! I value being a loving person, but am I...always? Sometimes my fears get in the way of doing or saying the most loving thing too!
If the other is more aggressive and competitive than we are, it just means they are more afraid.~ I see what you mean! Only a frightened animal snarls, hisses and puffs itself up! Again, it's what we do to "survive." (or to keep our ego and primal minds alive!)
I wonder about this: ... if the other can accommodate us, the relationship works better. If they can't, the relationship will be lacking in some way.
Ultimately, does it have to be lacking in some way? If the other can't accomodate me, perhaps that is the very "growing edge" I need to be challenged by and learn from? Could the resulting maturity be a better outcome than what would occur if I was accomodated ? Maybe I can learn more from being in the presence of a few arrogant, competitive people, than I would if I were only surrounded by a band of humble monks? (See, Arline, you have me thinking here!)
Going back to the role of expectations, maybe I need to do away with as many expectations as possible and not depend on others' behavior for my happiness? Would you say that to the extent that we can let others "be," we can be peaceful and contented and truly loving?
Thank you again for sharing your wisdom!
Yes, you are right about expectations. They are the death of being "in the now" and living in a truly alive way. No one is supposed to be a tool for our use, so of course we have to let people "be." However, we must take our space so that others know where our own boundaries are, just as others need to take their space with us. We all need to say "ouch" when those boundaries are breached so that we learn not to hurt each other.
Just because a relationship is lacking in some way, or at some times, doesn't mean that the relationship is not a sacred trust that we can cherish and honor with gratefulness. Nothing works all the time or all the way. We are all flawed and learning to be loving people. A. B. Curtiss