“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” ~Sam Keen
There’s a popular musical that explores a common approach to love, titled I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.
It happens all the time: We meet someone, we fall for all their strengths and quirks, and then soon start identifying ways they could change to better meet our needs.
I suspect we do this partly because we tend to blame the person we’re with when we’re feeling something we don’t want to fix on our own. But also, we try to change and fix other people because we’re acutely aware of our own imperfections and don’t want to deal with the pain of recognizing them in others.
When you think about, everything we see in other people represents something going on in our own heads and hearts.
We recognize selfishness—or what we interpret as selfishness—because we’ve been selfish before. We see fear, impatience, and annoyance—or what we assume those things look like—because we’ve felt them before.
Maybe the key to loving other people is accepting that we're all the same, and, flaws and all, we are all worthy. Or as Tiny Buddha contributor Erin Lanahan recently wrote in her post 5 Ways to Feel More Love and Compassion for Yourself and Others:
“I know you hurt, just like me, and you feel joy, just like me. You worry and feel scared sometimes, just like me. You have bad days, just like me, and you have amazing days, just like me. You are seeking, just like me. You want to believe in love, just like me.”
We really are all so similar. We’re all doing our best from day to day. We all mess up from time to time. We all want someone to accept us as we are, instead of lamenting what we aren’t. And we all deserve love, compassion, and understanding.
Today, if you feel frustrated with someone you love, ask yourself: Can I empathize? How can I show it in action?
Photo by Lel4nd