The eyes are designed to see beauty, the brain is wired to recognize it, and the heart is made to house the peace that comes when beauty is both seen and recognized. Many have aspired to make “beauty” their goal in their lives, careers, bodies, and relationships; chipping away any imperfections that may come their way. The definition of “beauty” is, thus, now very closely tied to “flawlessness.”
But there is still beauty apart from flawlessness.
The Japanese know this well — they call this philosophy “wabi sabi.” It is about embracing flaws and respecting the modest. It is about knowing that imperfections are inevitable, but also that wisdom can still be found in authentic simplicity. It is the understanding that not all things should be fixed, but everything is to be accepted as they are.
In our idealized version of the universe, we are accustomed to view everything in patterns, in mathematical order, in perfection. If it is uncalculated, it is not good enough. If something goes off-track, it needs to be fixed. The art of “wabi sabi” is accepting that things don’t have to match up to our ideals to be appreciated. It simply needs to be, and we simply need to see it in awe and be full of wonder of the beauty that is hidden deep within it.
Every journey, every marriage, every story is flawed, but that doesn’t mean that none of them are beautiful. Human beings are like tapestries, with each thread made up of their diverse cultures, their stories, and their scars. When a thread frays, they don’t need to be fixed. Human hearts need the love and peace that comes with acceptance, not to be fixed to measure up to society’s perfectionist ideals.
And, the soul you’ve entrusted your heart to, they’re not the ones who are supposed to complete and fix you. Rather, they should be the ones who inspire you to complete yourself, to find wholeness deep within. Their grace and love for you are supposed to move you, not push you. Your flaws aren’t a challenge to them, they, instead, hold your hand and stand beside you, in honor of the hidden, simple, imperfect, flawed, broken but authentic beauty within you.