I want the best parts of you."
"I'm giving you the best of me."
While reflecting, as I often do, I contemplate what my best is. My current best hasn't always been what it is. I haven't always been this free, transparent, or easy to get along with. I haven't always been the bigger person, but that's the beauty of life. It's hard to think that I was just as toxic, unhealed, and figuring shit out as I went just a few years ago. At one point, I was giving fucked up parts of myself to people, and they accepted it without question. Maybe they took it out of pity, lack of understanding or they didn't care enough to correct me. Perhaps they were still figuring out "their best," too. The point of it is, people meet me where I was with grace. I'm sure someone saw my ignorance and accepted that I hadn't figured it out yet. Reflection has made me realize that people are giving their best despite what that may look like. As humans, we are quick to strike down someone for committing an action against us that isn't fair or favored. We will degrade them for giving half-ass effort when that may be all they have to offer.
Yes, they might know better when they do or say something. Yet, until someone actively commits to doing better, that is the best given to us. I think the phrase "When you know better, then you do better." should be amended for several reasons. It should be "When you know better, and actively commit to doing better is when you actually do better." Everyone isn't given the same life skills, knowledge, or experience to know what's expected. We can't hold people to a standard because we have an established norm, but we can hold them accountable for how their actions impact us. But isn't that the same thing? No, it isn't. Accountability is about calling people out on their shit, but expectations are about a perception we created for people based on our values. Our life stories are all different, and that difference is what makes each person unique. However, that same uniqueness of our life story changes how we show up in the world. Getting or giving the best of someone is committing to the fact that "their best" may change. It also understands that some people have not being asked to show up with the best foot forward. They've only been asked to show up, and for others, that has been enough. Sometimes the effort we see as "the bare minimum" just maybe someone's "maximum effort" at that time. We're all giving our best until we discover another part of ourselves that changes how we show up. So show up each day as your best self until you learn better and actively commit to improving on that daily.