Perfectly Imperfect

“The story of human intimacy is one of constantly allowing ourselves to see those we love most deeply in a new, more fractured light. Look hard. Risk that.”

Tiny Beautiful Things - Cheryl Strayed

 

Love comes in all forms and sizes. It could be long-term, short-term, scary, safe, ugly, beautiful, fragile, or strong. It can be predictable, unpredictable, genuine, hidden, too little or too much. It can be conditional and unconditional. I want to focus on these last two things. Yes, love can be conditional but I believe we should pursue unconditional love. For that to happen, it is important to accept imperfections, fragility and brokeness and still hold our beloved’s hand. 

Being in a relationship is beautiful. It is about mutual love, nurturing, and compassion. It is about spending any amount of time (and that could be the rest of your life) with a significant other that simply makes your life better and happier. 

But relationships are more than that. They will build you up tall and strong, but also tear you down to a hopeless, emotional heap of stuff. They will come with unconditional love and accetance, sacrifice, pain, unresolved fears, tears, and economic crisis. It requires denying your own needs and desires, rising above your own inner world and frame of reference, and being the most empathic, understanding, and compassionate version of yourself as well as the most rutheless. It will require hard decisions, persistence, determination, and a heart that won’t leave the chosen path. 

Relationships require getting to know the other person ever deeper, unbiasedly, everyday for the long term. Inevitably, as time passes, you will look at the person and see  things that had not emerged before. Maybe you hadn't seen them before. Maybe you justified those things because you are so in love. And that’s when you must choose to continue to love. 

That is when we allow ourselves to see our partner in a differently fractured light. Sometimes, a more imperfectly fractured light. They will see us in more fractured lights as well. It is upto us to decide to continue, to choose love above all things. To choose forgiveness, and to allow the person to unravel, to discover him or herself. We must give them room to be vulnerable and broken and needy. It is important they feel safe when this happens. It is important they know we look at them with love-filled eyes. 

I am not saying we should conform to any form of abuse or mistreatment. If that is the case, then we should protect ourselves at all costs. I am talking about looking at our imperfect, non-abusive partners through and through and still say “yes”. I am talking about how love endures all things, and forgives all things, and is always patient and kind. Hold on to that love. Let it transform you into a better person. Let it transform your relationship. 

This Valentine's Day, make sure to do just that with the one you love. Let your partner be imperfect and vulnerable. Allow them to remove all masks and pretenses without fear or shame. 

Remove the makeup.

Lose the corset.

Undue your hair. 

Stay barefoot.

Allow your nailpolish to be chipped for a while.

Don’t clean up 2 minutes before he/she shows up.

Wear socks that don’t match. 

Cry. 

Don’t be polite about your needs.

Don’t clean up the tears. 

Laugh and cry at the same time and be all emotional and crazy in love or crazy mad or undeniably afraid. 

Whatever.

Give them enough security to know that when they do allow you to see every inch of them, you will not look away. Stare at how lovely they look unraveling and discovering themselves before you. Look at them through different kinds of fractured lights and still stay. Look hard. Risk that.