“We come to love, not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” – Sam King
We’ve been taught to seek perfection both from ourselves and others, in all things. But do we really know what perfection is? The definition of perfect or perfection is: to make flawless or faultless, to improve, to be of the highest degree of quality, and the state of being perfect. Many people spend their entire lives trying to find the perfect person, their perfect soul mate. But if you read the Bible you will see that many of the best couples in it, and throughout history, were not perfect.
At least not perfect by our typical understanding of the word. As a culture, we often think that the perfect person should have money, things, a beautiful body, an amazing smile, a laugh that sounds like music, and so on. But for those who have found love, they know those things aren’t as important as they once thought, and are very often, impossible expectations. There is not one person on this planet who is perfect in every way.
Even for those who do manage to find their soul mate, they will still find that there are things about that person that will annoy, aggravate, and at times, drive them crazy. This is where the principle that Sam King mentions in the quote above comes in very handy for making love last.
The quote tells me that the biggest barrier to love is ourselves. I also think it asks us to stop seeking perfection in others and instead, to seek perfection in ourselves. It challenges us to stop trying to change others and first change how we see others; to stop devaluing others and start adding to their value; to stop being so hard on ourselves and instead, give ourselves a little slack.
We need to be understanding, loving, open, and see ourselves and others through God’s eyes. Not as perfect people, but as people capable of improvement and being of high quality.
If you look at a beautiful vase that has a crack and think the crack is ugly, an eye sore and makes the vase useless, then you detract from the value of the vase simply because of your perspective. However, if you look at that same vase and think that the crack is a sign of how useful the vase was, a mark of old age and a sign it was put to good use, then you add to the value of the vase simply because of your perspective.
This is the wabi sabi principle of the Japanese people – to find beauty and perfection in imperfection. People are like vases, only our cracks can be a different sense of humor, talking before thinking, laziness, shyness, procrastination, age, and so on.
So the next time you find yourself aggravated with something a loved one has said or done, or something they didn’t say and do, take another look at their cracks and see them from a different perspective through an open mind and through God’s eyes. You just might find that you love that person even more because of their cracks.
Tori Vigil is an author, inspirational speaker and reporter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org