The joy of becoming, expressing, living your authentic self comes along with the pain of being misunderstood and misinterpreted. With respect to the vast majority of the people we encounter, we find ourselves competing so intensely with society's rules, commercialism's rules, or the church's rules...that the words we speak and even the moments we've shared simply cannot pass through the filter of un-thought or fear.
Such is to be expected in a shallow relationship, but causes deep pain and frustration when encountered in a loved one. I interpret such a misunderstanding as nothing other than a rejection of my being by someone who, perhaps, I overestimated.
More likely, such a person does, in fact, perceive me or comprehend me at some level...but rather than taking the risk of following me on the path of the authentic, is choosing something safe and numbing...choosing something that is as common as the rest of those folks mindlessly filing into church or pacing the corridors of the local mall.
The choice to cling to that which is normal and acceptable is simple and boorish...yet easily understood. It is the choice of the vast majority, the herd. But when that choice is made by someone who you know has the potential to stand apart, to transcend, to shine...it is nonetheless heart-breaking. Most heart-breaking is that, whether such a decision is a conscious or unconscious rejection of authenticity, any attempt to reach out to that individual with a shred of love, compassion, or joy is met with rejection. In such a situation, it takes every bit of self-control to fight the desire to respond in kind. Yet doing so would be to join in the surrender to that same fear, immaturity, and self-doubt which is already showing its weak, sad nature.