“We come to love not by finding a perfect person,
but by learning to see an imperfect person
I’m about to share something with you that no one in the cosmetic, diet, or fashion industry wants you to know. You are lovable exactly as you are today, flaws and all. Oh sure, you could use some work, but so could we all. The fact that you aren’t perfect, that’s what makes you human. There, I said it.
In this age where we are told we must be perfect people leading perfect lives, having perfect relationships with perfect partners, wabi sabi is the long cool drink we’ve been thirsting for in our desert of expectations. “But wait, Alison, what is wabi sabi?” I’m so glad you asked. “Wabi Sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. Its a beauty of things unconventional,” Leonard Koren writes in his book “Wabi Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers” (Stone Bridge Press, 1994) It’s time we take ourselves and our lives a lot less seriously and realize that things go wrong, they fall apart, that human beings themselves are fragile and imperfect.
Arielle Ford writes in her book Wabi Sabi Love: The Ancient Art of Finding Perfect Love in Imperfect Relationships (Harper Collins, 2012)“The fact is our culture has conditioned us to expect perfection from ourselves and others, and this expectation often leads us into a perpetual state of frustration and dissatisfaction.” Ford applies these principles to the single life by emphasizing the need to savor the moment. So many of us spend our lives living in a kind of suspended animation where we put off joy until some future moment when our lives resemble the picture in our heads instead of enjoying things exactly as they are today, partner or no.
The greatest benefit wabi sabi offers us is relaxation, and from relaxation comes joy. You cannot appreciate life when you are so wound up from trying to create perfection in everything. When we are stressed, our worst selves tend to emerge and no one wants to be in a relationship with someone who is demanding and relentless in their pursuit of the ideal in everything. We have to get to a place in our lives and in our relationships where we realize that our best is all we can do and if we are doing that, then it’s time to let the rest go.
As the good Dr. Seuss wrote, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” When you stop trying to fit into some preconceived idea about who you are supposed to be and just honestly express yourself, you are not only more confident, which is irresistibly appealing to the opposite sex, but you’re also more fun to be around. If you’ve read my other blog posts, you’ll see that I am a big fan of authenticity and a flouter of “shoulds” and rules. Your experience, your story, your perspective is unique; there is no other you in the universe. When you recognize this and honor your own needs and wants, talents and gifts, you will shine with a radiance that will draw in love like a magnet.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment to help you find wabi sabi in your life you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org