Truth is, as a single person I may be a bit hard on you partnered folk. I get frustrated sometimes as I watch relationships unravel. So precious, and yet I see people treating them casually, even throwing them away without much thought. Especially when I can see the potential for greatness, if they’d just give each other a bit more grace. If they’d just see the good of what is there and relax in it.
My heart smiled this week. A friend was talking about a task her husband had performed, well… imperfectly. She is in the midst of a self-improvement program and had created a vision board to chart her progress and motivate her. She had asked her husband to hang it on the wall for her, knowing in the back of her mind that this was not the kind of a task that he usually performed well. When it was done, it was lopsided, multiple holes were in the wall and all kinds of wires were hanging all around it. Her first thought was to “fix” it. After she cringed.
But then, as she was talking about it, she said something to the effect of “I couldn’t be upset with him. Mainly because this is the same man who tells me I am beautiful.”
Oh. My. Heart. I think that was one of the romantic things I have heard in a while. Isn’t that what really matters? He loves her. He supports her. He tells her. Not just verbally, though the verbal is important to many of us, but as another friend described it, in “imperfectly perfect” ways. Doing things for her at which he doesn’t especially excel. A gift of the heart, regardless of the outcome.
While truly she wanted to change it, she waited.
By bedtime he had already talked about how he was going to make it look better, if she decided it was hung at the right height. He was going to try to fix it, without any prompting from her. She didn’t need to fix it herself. She didn’t need to criticize. She had just thanked him and looked at it as the gift it was. Knowing that gift of service was imperfectly performed. She could look at it and know….this man, her husband, thinks she is beautiful. Just the way she is. Even before the results of her self-improvement program are where she wants them to be. Her walking vision board.
OK, I am a romantic, though maybe not a traditional one. I’m a bit cynical of big romantic gestures… I tend to think they are more to show off to a crowd than to show anything real about the relationship. (Some of my friends love these big gestures….you’re certainly allowed!) When it gets down to it, your relationships are more about what happens when it is just between the two of you. How kind, how patient, how respectful, how encouraging, how loving you are.
As my friend continues with her healthy eating and more movement program (I like the sound if that better than diet and exercise), her board will chart her progress. But on those days when the weight may not be moving down, or she misses a workout or two, her personal walking vision board will tell her she is beautiful. Because he sees her….the person she really is. That is love in action. That is perfect. She can be confident in that knowledge even on those days when they just may miss attaining perfection.
Give those you love best the most grace. Don’t they deserve it?