The Japanese philosophy of imperfection has been applied to the arts, the elements of design and construction and to the art of choosing the the best produce. ‘The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is’ “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” (according to Wikipedia and author, Leonard Koren)…
Here we’ll apply it to relationships. Imperfect – No one is perfect, nor is any relationship; Impermanent – nothing lasts forever; Incomplete – nothing is ever finished, a relationship is a work in progress…Wabi Sabi.
Life itself, with its stress and irritations, can be like a bucket of water thrown on the fire between you and your significant other. When you’re bored, tired, hungry, disappointed, angry, it’s easy to look at your partner and see him/her as the source of the negative feelings. “If he/she would just change (this or that), things would improve.” We have forgotten that we can’t change another person. We can only change ourselves.
When we recognize and work on our own flaws and look for the good in our partners, amazing things can happen. We both feel better being appreciated and loved for who we are and our outlook on the relationship and the future is brighter.
Consider that it takes ten times the effort to make amends after a negative comment. Choose to be kind more often than nasty. Be complimentary, grateful and considerate. These offerings must also be sincere. “You look great in that new outfit.” “I really appreciate the work you do to make our yard attractive.”
There isn’t a wrong time for acts of love, large or small…a massage after a workout, a hug and kiss ‘just because’, a sympathetic ear after a bad day, the surprise of a special treat in bed on a rainy Sunday morning.
All manner of touches release endorphins which improve our moods…hand-holding, touching his/her face during a “see you later” kiss, running a hand through his/her hair. These touches help build your unbreakable bond of love. Even reaching out by phone to your partner during the day with a quick call to say, “I wanted to hear your voice”, cements the partnership.
Being a good listener is one of the most important gifts you can give your partner. It is a powerful way to solidify your relationship. Criticism, insults and other hurtful behavior will bring you to a negative end. When feelings are hurt, being heard is what your mate needs. Respect the emotion behind the words. To bring yourselves closer, pay closer attention to what is being said.
Make a committment to create “us” time. It may be only 30 minutes to catch up on your day, take part in some daydreaming or just snuggling together. It shouldn’t be a time for discussing chores, children or “fixing” the relationship, but a time to grow your friendship. Make time for intimacy, too, even if it has to be scheduled. If you have fallen into a boring, tired pattern, make an effort to try something new, be spontaneous.
We can’t be perfect, we can’t expect to be together forever, we’ll never be able to stop working on the relationship, but we can be happy in the knowledge that “knowing” each other now holds a deeper meaning…Wabi Sabi.