I got to thinking the other day about one of my favorite scenes from Sex & the City. It’s the one where Aidan is building a love seat for Charlotte’s wedding gift.
Aidan: See this piece? This big old flaw right here? It’s not a flaw really, it’s just the way the wood is. I think it’s interesting, and kind of beautiful.
Carrie: So flaws can be good, right?
Aidan: Flaws are the best part.
Sometimes, we have to come face to face with our flaws. I, like anyone else, try to be the best I can be. But sometimes, my best falls short. Sometimes, I’m blaming someone else for the things that are wrong in my life when I really need to look inward and figure out what I can do better to improve my own situation. In short, I am flawed.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on my own flaws recently after my most recent breakup. Broken doesn’t begin to describe it. I was shattered. I didn’t see it coming, and I was desperate to figure out what I did wrong. I am a big believer in learning from every experience, but there just didn’t seem to be a lesson in this pain. He even told me I didn’t do anything wrong. But I couldn’t accept that.
Months and months of heartache went by with no answers. I think I was waiting for an answer from him. Or maybe from God. I have no idea who I was during those months, but I certainly was not myself, and I was not doing the best I could. I told myself I was; it just wasn’t true.
After months of beating myself up (and honestly, of letting myself be beat up), I was a shell of a human being. I existed, but I felt no joy, no hope, no happiness. I simply went through the motions of life. But in that despair, came clarity.
You see, I am generous, strong, smart, caring, funny, beautiful, sexy, independent, and confident when I’m on my own. Those are the qualities people are attracted to, the things about me to fall in love with.
But then . . . something happens.
Of course at the beginning of a relationship you are wrapped up in one another, in the act of falling in love and becoming an “us.” It is the best, most exhilarating feeling in the world. I even remember thinking at the beginning of this last relationship that this was “it.” This was the last time I would experience the amazing high of falling in love. I wanted to soak it up, wrap myself in it, and enjoy every single moment.
This feeling, unfortunately, cannot go on forever. You have to get back to reality, to your real life and routine. This is the part where I disappear. I am literally swallowed up by the person I am in a relationship with. I want so badly to be wrapped up in that falling in love feeling, that I panic when it starts to dissipate. I become insecure, needy, and (worst of all) co-dependent. It’s like I’m gripping a handful of sand, and the harder I hold on, the more it trickles out through my fingers until there’s barely anything left. I don’t want to be like that in a relationship; and yet, I do it every time. It’s a flaw.
But it’s also something I can work on.
I like to think that I can always strive to be a better person, to continue to improve towards the best version of myself. So that’s what I’m working on now. I’ve realized that happiness is something you really have to work for and that you have to be brave enough to pursue it.
But, flaws can be the best part, too. They are what make us real, what makes our lives true, what gives us lessons to learn and grow from. To some extent, I need to embrace this flaw, too. It’s partially what makes me, well, me. Just like I have to be brave enough to pursue happiness, I also have to be brave enough to be vulnerable, to open myself up to others, and to ask for help when I need it.
As long as I am learning, growing, and working towards that best version of me, I am going to be gentle enough with myself to call that good enough. And if I stumble along the way, it’s just another opportunity. I can’t be at my best all the time; no one can. But eventually, when I learn to love myself, then it won’t matter. Because the person that’s meant for me will love me and my flaws.
How have you turned a “flaw” into an opportunity?