You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly. – Sam Keen
What does that mean?
This quote is widely circulated, and in minor variations. I like this one the best: “We come to love not by finding a perfect person but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”
It starts by saying we don’t come to love, or fall into love, because we have found a perfect person. After all, we are all humans, and therefore, all quite a bit shy of perfect. At least everyone I know is that way.
The quote concludes by saying that instead, we come, or fall into, love by seeing an imperfect person perfectly. You see the flaws, and you see them clearly. But we love them anyway.
When we are infatuated, we often miss the flaws, but by the time we are well and truly in love, we have cleared our eyes, and are seeing them for the human they are. Flaws and all, yet we love them none the less.
Why is loving them despite their imperfections important?
If you are waiting for the perfect person, you’re in for a long wait. Mister (or Miss) Right is out there, but Mister (or Miss) Perfect is not. You will have to figure out what flaws you can deal with and which you cannot.
This doesn’t mean you’re looking for a fixer-upper, someone to change or mold to meet your expectations. That’s not going to work out well, is it? Instead, you have to figure out what is a deal breaker, and what you can live with.
If you can live with someone who treats you badly, or cheats on you regularly, you probably need to work on your self-esteem. For nearly everyone, that’s a deal breaker. But there are plenty of minor issues.
Is leaving the seat in the ‘wrong’ position a deal breaker? Toilet paper feeding over the top or under, can you live with their preference? What if they have an allergic reaction to cabbage and you love sauerkraut? If you love sausage and eggs, but they won’t eat pork?
What if they are forgetful? What if they love a color you hate? What if they like a different kind of music, and hate your favorite? We’re all different. We all have imperfections. What can you live with?
Where can I apply this in my life?
I believe that this quote can be applied to anyone with whom you have a relationship. While the likely intent of the quote is romantic love, I believe it applies equally to the other flavors of love, be it platonic, familial, or any other name by which you label a close, caring bond.
Is your best friend from school perfect? What about your best friend at work, are they perfect? Is there a single member of your family who is perfect? Yet you have some kind of loving relationship with them all, right? But you know they are flawed, as are all humans, right?
Again, I’m not insisting that it be a romantic relationship, but you have some kid of relationship with many different people. And none are even remotely close to perfect. Unless you are still in the infatuation phase of a romantic relationship, in which case they will be, until reality returns.
In short, this quote is about observation. Understanding the other person by knowing them very well. Knowing what they like and dislike. It’s about exploring each-other’s pasts and the desires for the future.
By knowing, you can begin to understand. As you understand, the respect between you grows. As the respect grows, the opportunity arises for appreciation and even love, of the appropriate type for the relationship.
Again, nothing will be perfect, but with a common core and a common direction, one can find appreciation and love. And as long as you were able to see the person perfectly, that is see and understand all their flaws, there is no reason to believe it won’t last.
Whether it is a romantic pursuit, or a life long buddy, seeing them, warts and all, is important. In knowing, a decision can be made. If you are just guessing, life will be far more uncertain than is necessary, and that’s usually not the best thing, right?
What is important is seeing the other person, flaws and all, and still loving the person. That, to me, is what the quote is all about.
From: Twitter, @quotes_on_love
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/samkeen171241.html
Photo by Javier Delgado
- Important to remind yourself. (practicemindfullness.wordpress.com)
- Step one: self-Love – Step two: true Love (toddlohenry.com)
- Imperfectly Lovable (joyunedited.wordpress.com)
- Imperfection Is Lovable: Let Yourself Be (tinybuddha.com)
- “You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” -Sam Keen (endkwote.wordpress.com)