A posting by Nick Ortner gave me pause for reflection:
"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.”
At a Tokyo museum, in the Wabi Sabi section, there is a giant vase with a crack down the middle.
It is on a pedestal with a light shining on the crack!"
I guess I do wabi sabi love naturally with the strange, crazy and difficult, beautiful and exceptional people i have fallen in love with in my life.....and how funny and fitting, the experience does taste a bit like “wasabi” –LOL!!!
Also, how very hopeful, that collectively we seem to be moving on from the era of pop therapy, of assigning labels which have the effect of locking in a polarized view of “our issues.”
"Acceptance," for instance: calling it something negative such as 'co-dependence' or 'lack of boundaries' or 'settling for', etc.
These mis-Labels all hold a charge of judgment, leading to rhetorical questions like, "What's wrongwith me?" and "Shouldn't I be better than this…take some sort of decision or action that makes my ego feel better?" (Of course, the conversation is disguised as "Shouldn't I work harder, be stronger, better than, less needy, more fearless, etc. in order to walk out of a 'bad' situation and create a better-feeling situation?" or, “OMG, I don’t even know who I truly am – how “un-authentic” of me!)
Of course, these points of view are one way to view the world.
But there is another subtle component here, one that arises out of "I totally love and accept myself just as I am - even though I feel weak, not good/deserving enough, paralyzed in my fear, stuck in the muck, etc..." that sort of extends to whomever is 'out there' as well.
IF I can accept all this in myself, and LOVE myself anyway - then how can I not hold you in the same regard, KNOWING that there is something lovable and gem-like underneath all the pain that is expressing through you? And by holding the space and focusing on the gem, rather than a 'fix' - everything else becomes just a little bit more bearable, and acceptable.
After all, is Acceptance not the first step towards Love beyond conditions?
I chuckle to remember one dear friend’s comment about the man she married, in spite of the many ‘misfits’ between them. She said: “By the time we realized what had happened, it was too late. We were in love!”
So how does one know when it is a case of wabi sabi love, and not an imposter – one of the 'lower forms?'"
To me, THAT is the million dollar question! But does it matter?
I suspect that the answer is NOT an either/or – which serves only to reinforce the existing paradigm. I suspect, in some cases, people are born with it as a resident state of being, and so re-connect to it easily - like the Dalai Lama. But it IS possible for everyone. And perhaps for the majority of the rest, it is a 'carbon to diamond' processwhich may start out on the lower rungs, with POTENTIAL to morph into a higher state of being, of loving self and others beyond conditions. So the initial ‘broken or imperfect’ beloved or situation is actually the set-up for transformation and self-discovery.....how sneaky!
It mayneed to start with an inner ease – I’m not sure of this although for me, it seems true. My own concocted term is: "Being good with me."
More importantly, it has to do with coming into a knowing - NOT a feeling - that no matter what the beloved does or is, no matter how ‘imperfect”, - how “ignorant,” “inappropriate,” or “unacceptable” - there is nothing that can shake your love for them. (You may need to walk away temporarily, lick your wounds, shake your head, or scream at them - but the love somehow survives.) And THAT is the gift which each "One Who Loves" can claim for himself or herself.
The process is a ‘natural and organic’ one - not another high-sounding spiritual or intellectual overlay. I am not even sure if conscious choice is involved. It may be self-driven - an evolutionary impulse. I believe it happens,- one just 'realizes' that it has happened - like a thief in the night.