How is it that when the honeymoon phase ends, those things you once found “adorable” about your mate now annoy, frustrate, or make you crazy? Why is it in the early days of your relationship your partner could do no wrong and every unusual habit or quirk was fascinating?
Here’s the the good news. There is a solution. It’s called Wabi Sabi Love.
Wabi Sabi is an ancient Japanese art form that honors all things old, worn, weathered, imperfect, and impermanent. In fact, it seeks to find “beauty and perfection in the imperfections.”
For instance, if you had a large vase with a big crack down the middle of it, a Japanese art museum would put the vase on a pedestal and shine a spotlight on the crack!
Shining the Spotlight on the Cracks in Your Relationship
Wabi Sabi Love is a new and exciting approach to relationship that shows you how to see your partner in a whole new light, so you begin to appreciate, even celebrate your partner’s imperfections. It transforms “tired” relationships so they feel new, fresh, and exciting—like you’re on your honeymoon again!
Why would you take the time to learn how to apply Wabi Sabi Love to your relationship? Because fifty percent of first marriages, sixty-seven percent of second marriages and seventy-four percent of third marriages all end in divorce! We aren’t born with the innate knowledge of how to “do” relationship. Even worse, we’ve been brainwashed by modern-day society to look for and seek perfection, which leads to an ongoing state of frustration and dissatisfaction.
In truth, we all know that perfection is not possible. But with Wabi Sabi Love we can come to appreciate our own and the other’s imperfection, and can actually experience a more natural state of grace than we thought possible.
By learning and practicing Wabi Sabi Love you begin to accept the flaws, imperfections, and limitations—as well as the gifts and blessings—that form your shared history as a couple. Acceptance and its counterpart, understanding, are crucial to achieving relationship harmony. It’s is sacred love, the highest form of love, and like most things worth striving for in life requires patience, commitment, personal responsibility, and practice. Imagine how great you will feel when you know your partner loves all of you, all the time? The good, the bad, and everything in between!
Putting Wabi Sabi Love into Action
One of the fastest ways to begin to apply Wabi Sabi Love is to realize that no matter what crazy-making thing your partner is doing, they did not wake up with the thought, “I plan to drive my spouse insane today.” Just like you, your partner wants to be loved for who they are, in spite of their shortcomings. Make an effort to let them know they are loved even if some of their behavior is not. Work toward co-creative solutions.
Remember that it only takes one person to make a difference. Even if your partner isn’t willing to change that doesn’t mean all is lost. By taking personal responsibility for your own happiness, and making space for your partner to be who and what they are, magic can and often does happen. It’s when we are blaming and shaming that no progress can be made.
A Trail of Endearing Breadcrumbs
Here’s one of my favorite Wabi Sabi Love stories:
Even though Diane truly loved Jerry (her husband, twenty years her senior), she was confronted on a daily basis with something about him she found very hard to embrace: his passion for poppy seed bagels. Since childhood, Jerry has had a love affair with poppy seed bagels. In fact, he enthusiastically devours one nearly every day. Jerry slices and toasts his bagel, then takes it into his office to relish in its flavor.
Not unlike Hansel in the fairytale, Hansel and Gretel, Jerry always leaves a trail of poppy seeds that sweeps across the white-floored kitchen, through the center of the house and into his office. Jerry is aware that he is a bit of “sloppy Joe.” Although he has often made an effort to clean up the poppy seeds, his cleaning skills somehow never match Diane’s desire to have an spotless floor.
One day Diane was feeling particularly grumpy about something unrelated. As she entered the kitchen and looked down, her level of grumpiness increased a hundredfold as she found herself swimming in a sea of scattered poppy seeds.
Like she had done every day for more than thirty years, Diane moistened a hand towel and got down on her hands and knees to begin cleaning up the mounds of seeds that had accumulated.
Just once, she thought to herself, I would like to come into the kitchen and not find these poppy seeds. She frowned as she vigorously hand-wiped the floor to her satisfaction.
Sitting back on her heels, a thought struck her through the haze of frustration. What if the floor never had any more poppy seeds on it?
As if hit by lightening, Diane suddenly realized, That would mean there would be no more Jerry!
Tears flooded her eyes as she stood up. She gazed down at the poppy seeds that were gritting up her floor. Instead of looking like grains of gray sand, they suddenly looked amazing to her—like little black diamonds that represented everything in her life that was precious and sacred to her. She rushed into Jerry’s study, threw her arms around him and kissed him through tears of joy. He gave her a quizzical yet loving look as he popped the last bit of poppy seed bagel into his mouth, then brushed the seeds that had landed on his shirt onto the floor.
Today she describes it this way:
“Now, no matter how many seeds I may mop up, I’m very peaceful inside. Whenever I see those poppy seeds, they fill me with so much love and gratitude. And on some days I deliberately leave them and my old compulsive behavior behind as I smile, turn on my heel and walk away.”
With a simple Wabi Sabi shift in perception, Diane gave new meaning to cleaning up Jerry’s poppyseeds.
What behavior of your mate’s can you reframe today to not only alter your perception but to empower both of you and add more joy to your lives?
If you are ready for more love, fun, harmony, and passion in your relationship, I encourage you try a little wabi sabi love. To learn more download a free chapter from the book Wabi Sabi Love at www.wabisabilove.com
Arielle Ford is a gifted writer and the author of eight books including her latest Wabi Sabi Love: The Ancient Art of Finding Perfect Love in Imperfect Relationships and the international bestseller, THE SOULMATE SECRET: Manifest The Love of Your Life With The Law of Attraction. She lives in La Jolla, CA with her husband/soulmate, Brian Hilliard and their feline friends.