By Mark E. Smith
I truly believe that those I love are absolutely perfect. And, I tell them so, from the depth of my heart.
See, when I say that those I love are absolutely perfect to me, it doesn’t mean “perfection;” rather, it means their being true to oneself and others. Those I love aren’t without flaws or character idiosyncrasies. However, in my eyes, there’s nothing that they need to change or that I want to change about them. They’re perfect.
So often – and I’ve fallen into this trap in my past– we see all of the traits we want to change in our loved ones. At our worst, we may overlook 97% of the amazing qualities in our loved ones and fixate on the 3% that we disagree with. Even worse is when we vocalize our dislikes, especially to our loved ones, themselves. There’s few worse blows than criticism from a loved one.
I’ve also heard friends complain about their amazing spouses and children, all because they’re overlooking the greater good in them. Why bring this negativity into our lives and those we love?
The alternative is to see how perfect our loved ones truly are. Again, my wife and daughters don’t embody literal perfection – none of us do. However, there’s nothing about them that I want to change. They are… well… perfect.
This isn’t to say that we should view all by such a way. It truly must be earned. I loved my mother, but I rightfully disagreed with the life she lived as an alcoholic. I never saw her as “perfect” and I would have been insane not to have wished much of her to change. But, if we have those in our life who are remarkable individuals, what’s to change? And, why look for aspects to change?
The answer is, there’s no good reason. It’s petty and self-defeating. Our loved ones deserve better, just as we don’t need to create problems where there are no problems. Seeing those we love as rightfully “perfect” is the ultimate form of acceptance and love, and extending it to those who matter most to us elevates our relationships.
Therefore, the next time your spouse or children irk you a bit, maybe take a moment and ask yourself if it’s truly a problem or are they just earning their way into your heart as perfect?