It seems so small a thing, so small a thing to ask. Just love me for what I am. Stop trying to bend me beyond my nature. My desires are not yours, I am not yours. A living, thinking being, not a possession. Every time you try to force me to fit a contour not my own you fracture a little bit more of my sense of self and my faith. We human beings, we elevate ourselves above all other creatures, but if we pioneer or excel my most cynical self thinks it to be only in cruelty and irrationality. What animal would attempt to compel another to act against its nature? It seems doubtful. A monkey thinking another monkey should be more like a dog, or frog, or fish. Don’t ask me to be other than I am. Left to my own devices I am a beautiful thing and I am glad of it. Only in the glare of your judgment did I learn to doubt. Degradation, for the sin of being too soft, too much in my head, too long with my grief, too free with my joy. I will pray as I sometimes do, but it will be for the strength to tell you that kindness is not a synonym for weakness, nor thinking a waste of time. To declare that grief has its own timeline for every circumstance and individual, not a set deadline. We come to peace in our own time. And being gleeful as a child and letting it show over things both great and small, is a gift. And I will partake in that sweetness as often as my mind allows. I am not at fault if you are unhappy in your own shape. Such discontent does not give you leave to judge mine. Do not begrudge me myself.