On Love and Perfection

"Please, let someone love you just the way you are - as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, as unaccomplished as you think you are. To believe you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less that perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room." ~Marc Hack
 
When I catch myself thinking that I need to change or improve myself to be more loveable, I have stumbled upon a gross misperception about myself and the nature of love. A love that requires my modification is a conditional love at best, and at worst, it is not love at all. 

Love is an open field of acceptance whose expansive glow embraces all misperceived flaws, neurosis and imperfection, a field that relishes every last trace of vulnerability and exposed humanity. Love is a presence that says, “I see you. You are whole. You are home.”

The search for perfection in ourselves and in each other is just a symptom of a kind of conditional love we’ve learned—a love that requires certain conditions to exist. It says, “I will only love you if…” and that love is far from real. It’s a mere faux-love that can be trusted no more than trembling ground during an earthquake. Good luck trying to walk, let alone dance in that.

Love is like the Japanese art of wabi sabi; it finds beauty in the cracks and holds them with patient honey-like reverence. It says, “There is nothing you could do to scare me away. Your wounds inspire my every last tenderness.” It’s the missing button on the sweater, and the stories you’ve lived while wearing it that makes it a favorite; it’s the chip in the mug from a thousand prior meetings with your lips that makes it irreplaceable. 

Love adores arm hairs turned blond by the sun, steals glances while you’re not looking just to drink you in, and kisses scars and freckles at every possible chance. Love generously relishes the incomplete, transient work-in-progress that we all are, no exceptions.

In wholeness, love takes space between periods of togetherness too, just so that she can stand back and witness your silhouette whole against the sky. To miss you enough to welcome you back with the deepest presence as though it were the first time and the last. Love knows how precious it all is. How precious you are.

I’ve stopped looking for a perfect love. I know now that in the clarity of my heart-eyes I will look from love’s perfection and find it everywhere—in your eyes, in our common humanity, in each shared breath and in every resonant heartbeat.


© 2013 Marie-Ève Bonneau