Comment from a Reader:
I sometimes feel that your marriage is
always presented as PERFECT and FLAWLESS…and therefore unattainable.
I know you want to help people feel empowered and to feel better about
themselves or at least to have the tools to improve…but
sometimes I just walk away feeling like I’m a failure.
Dear Reader, we are not trying to portray perfection. But it turns out that what you see on the blog is actually a reflection of how we view imperfection and failure. Danny and I have loads of imperfect experiences, personal failures and personal weaknesses. But a few years ago, in the depths of our greatest personal trials to date, we began to learn that these experiences could be opportunities for us to practice being better people! That may sound crazy – but this small shift in how we viewed trials/imperfection/failure has changed our worlds (I mean, it changed the way we experienced our divorces and our ongoing infertility – that’s how powerful it was! And it certainly has a similar affect on minor moments Danny and I might have if we’re hungry or tired, if things don’t go perfectly, if we feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of tasks that we have before us, if something falls through the cracks, if we get a parking ticket, etc.) We finally realized that these experiences could provide opportunities to learn how to surrender, how to react to life in a better way, how to pursue virtues (even in our most unimaginable circumstances), how to cultivate self-worth despite weaknesses that were/are staring us in the face, how to have the real kind of love for other people in pain, even when their actions were/are offensive to us. We learned firsthand that accepting imperfection in ourselves and others is the birthplace of the greatest compassion and real love. Imperfection is the birthplace of wisdom and strength. Finally understanding this and starting to live accordingly was the greatest blessing of my life. Even a greater blessing than my sweet husband.
So, Danny and I are ok with failure & imperfection in this household. It truly is welcome here – and in fact, we embrace it. Just that very attitude about it lightens the load almost immediately. My deepest apologies if it comes off to you or anybody else that I am hiding weakness, failure, or imperfection. I actually try to celebrate them for the teachers that they are! What you’re seeing in our marriage is the fruit of embracing the imperfections of life. It really does change the way Danny and I interact with each other, it changes the way we react to the day-to-day experiences of living and working in New York City, it changes the way that we react to each other’s weaknesses, and in our own weak moments, it lessens the amount of time that we choose to dwell there.
As you continue on your own journey, it is our greatest hope that you will not feel like a failure. Know that we made progress one tiny
step at a time, and you can, too. Every step is beautiful and triumphant. And one day, we hope that you’ll be able to stand where you are -with all the imperfections in you and around you – and still have love for yourself and others, and ultimately, to truly live.
Mara & Danny
P.S. A few posts I wrote for Babble. I hope you enjoy them!