She showed me her long list of expectations, excitedly telling me all the details about how her next partner should be like. It sounded to me like the advertisement ad for the ‘oh so perfect’ man, except I have never met anyone who fit the entire bill. Have you? Several years later she was still on her own, and dates were far and in between. Expecting perfection is the perfect recipe for isolation.
Recently, a man walked into my office. His girlfriend had broken up with him. The reason? She couldn’t take his constant criticism anymore. In his sobering state of heart-brokenness, he did realize that he had been nagging at her incessantly. He said: “I threw daggers at her. I wanted her to fit my model of perfection- so I could feel better about myself. I was controlling, afraid of real intimacy. It was so selfish, and we both were unhappy.” It’s true, a flower won’t blossom when we pick all the leaves off, or worse- when we step on her repeatedly or expect from a flower to bloom all year long in the perfect color and with just right fragrance for us. It might work with a plastic flower. But none of us are Barbie-dolls or heroes from the movies.
In our western culture, people often expect perfection from each other and themselves. We don’t want to see death, sickness, old age. Or a pouch belly, wrinkles, or the raw vulnerability of simply being human. The tears of sorrow, the moments of weakness, and our loveable unique oddness we tend to hide. Or we go to the next improvement club. It’s called a lack of acceptance for what we deem as imperfect, but what is part of life. How would it be if we apply some good doses of acceptance toward ourselves and our partners, children, and friends? We certainly will experience more joy and love with each other. How do we apply the magic balm?
For a start, if you have one of those ‘manifest your perfect mate’ lists, erase some items. And add: “I am welcoming a true human being into my arms.’ Of course, you don’t want to put up with addictions, destructive behaviors. But you can include that your prospective mate may have a grouchy or sad day. Or that she may be older than you expect. Or?
~ Appreciate the good and unique qualities the other already person has. Including your own.
~ Practice including human weakness, shortcomings or so-called imperfections with a smile and twinkle.
~ Focus on and enjoy what is already perfect in this moment. It might be simply the softness of kissing each other. Or the laughter of your child. Warmth shared with a friend. A caring cashier at the check out counter. Pay attention to these precious moments.
Practice that, and I assure you that you will experience the perfection of being in love each moment. That’s what turns the light on in you. At that moment your mate, your child, others in your life will feel far more accepted by you. And then they will more likely meet you to share and enjoy love together!
Copyright Nicola Amadora.