Being limited and flawed is essential to intimacy
Never thought you’d hear that, I bet.
Have you noticed that people who project or attempt to come across as perfect or flawless are hard to reach? They carry about themselves a distance from others. You find yourself hitting a wall when you ask or probe for depth, insight or understanding into who they are.
This is because they have a terrifying fear of being seen. They’ve come to believe that their flaws make them worthless and shameful and unlovable. This comes from the cruel impacts of being shamed for making mistakes, not measuring up to (typically unreasonable) expectations of the parents or trusted authorities, and having love withdrawn as a form of punishment for disappointing those authorities.
This is a massive form of rejection. The individual comes to never know their true difference from their parent, and is trapped in a cage of expectation. Their thoughts are often riddled with “what will they think of me?” or “what do they think of me?”.
Rejection becomes a confirmation of their apparent worthless nature. Mistakes become fatal to their sense of belonging and safety.
But, in a healthy relationship, flaws are seen as endearing, interesting, and workable. The individual experiences a sense of being seen beyond just their errors, limitations and mistakes, but more as a whole being. They feel a warm, positive regard from those around them. They have a trust that when a mistake happens, they’ll be received with an open and listening heart and mind the majority of the time.
They know that their flaws and limits are safe to be seen by these people and helps them feel understood and loved, and strengthens the intimacy and trust in the relationship.
Seeing the common humanity in each other brings understanding, warmth and empathy. We can bridge divides and work to resolve conflict.. And we feel safe to better express our wants, needs and desires. We feel be belong.
All because our limitations, flaws and errors are received with understanding and proper ownership.
Let those that have demonstrated their love for you in their behaviors see your limits. Share with them what you can and cannot do. Say no.
Share your mistakes, and own them compassionately. Be willing to be received just as you are, and see how safe it is with people who genuinely love and adore you.
Be valued for your wholeness – limitations, flaws and mistakes included.