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i used to love the marilyn monroe quote “if you can’t handle me at my worst then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best”. there is a truth in that a safety even i agree and yet there is also a danger i see. | Secret Keepers by Emily Joy Rosen

i used to love
the marilyn monroe quote
“if you can’t handle me at my worst
then you sure as hell
don’t deserve me
at my best”

there is a truth in that
a safety even
i agree
and yet
there is also a danger
i see

a risk
that it can most definitely be used
to absolve oneself
of any sort of personal responsibility
for how we are choosing to be

i mean really
when does being amazing
make being dreadful
other times

where does it say loving someone
is being okay with them
all the time
in all the ways

i know i for one
have used that quote
as a weapon
against men
i am dating
but in friendship too

and i am starting to really look at
if i believe this to be true
and if so
to what degree

i was seeing a guy
when it was good
it was just off the charts
toe curling
lip biting
mind melding

but when it was bad
it was
fall into a black hole
i don’t know
if i can ever get out

we triggered each other
so profoundly
we would go under
so quickly
neither one of us knew what to do
as we would lose facility

at the most basic level
he didn’t like the way
i handled myself when upset
and i didn’t like the way
he reacted when upset

it was bad
and part of me thought
“well, if you can’t handle me at my worst
then you can’t have me at my best”

but then
i realized something

wait a minute, emily
let’s be honest here…
you are wanting him to change, right?

you are not extending
the same courtesy to him
that you are insisting on for yourself

and you are basically saying
i cannot take this part of you
such that i would give up all the good
just to get away from how you
express yourself here



it is so confronting
when i run into
my own hypocrisy

i can almost hear
the screeching
in my brain
as i hit the breaks
on my righteousness

i just don’t think this statement
is true

insisting people accept you
no matter what
you choose to hurl at them
isn’t a requirement of loving
at least not to me
not anymore

even though
a part of me
would like it to be
i cannot demand
that which i am not willing to extend
in partnership

that will certainly never create
the type of relationship
i claim to want
it certainly would be
a mockery
of what i say
is most important to me

so here is what i am coming to…

you can love someone
and want them to change
you can love someone
and ask them to do something differently
you can love someone
and leave

i thought true love was accepting
accepting everything
i thought that was unconditional love

but i just don’t think this is love true anymore
and this has opened a door for me
that i didn’t even know was closed
it has opened me up to the possibility
that i can change
even the most
cemented parts of me
and i can ask others to do the same
because i am willing to do the work too

i just can’t ask people
to do what i am not willing to do
that just seems ridiculous
and like a rather treacherous
way to live

and this is not to say
that i think we should give up
on each other
whenever things get ugly
not at all
fights happen
breakdowns occur
people get hurt
we say mean things
and can lash out for sure

but i am saying
that making it mean that someone doesn’t love
or deserve you
if they want you to do things differently
is likely not helping you
get more of what you are wanting
and i don’t think it is the best we can do

i see a different possibility
where we use partnership
to work through
the bitchy, brooding, biting
moody, and mean
parts of me and you

so while yes
we can still allow space
for each other
to fly off the handle
from time to time
we don’t demand
acceptance of what
we wouldn’t welcome too

this is what i am coming to
and what i am working through

and wow
it is the hardest work
i have ever done
and i am hoping
the most rewarding
i cannot imagine
how it would not be

the ultimate self mastery
is tested
not in
how we are
when alone

but rather when in the throes
with the people we love the most
when, hearts entwined
we exchange

this is when we are tested the most
this is where the real work begins
this is what matters most
i think

i mean, really, who cares
if you are sweetly calm
hidden from the world
in connection with no one

i want to know
who you are
when pressed against the wall
when truth is swelling up in you
when breath is harder to find
and when you realize
honesty is more important to you
than anything
anyone would say about you

let’s do that work please

the kind of work
that may bring us
to our knees
and back again
to the very best version
of you and me

let’s rise
from the ashes

❤️emily joy rosen

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