I once talked to someone who said that they wouldn't want to be psychic because if they were, they might pick up on other people’s flaws. They said, “I’m afraid that if I knew too much about another person, I probably wouldn’t like them anymore”. While they were telling me this, visions of my own unique flaws started dancing wildly in my head. I sometimes snore in my sleep, I pick at my nails (this one drives my husband crazy), I’m constantly spilling food on myself (something that runs in my family), I’m always losing my reading glasses (a cute little flaw I learned from my Great-grandmother), I misplace notes and then cuss under my breath as I look around the house for them, etc.
My husband and I were eating at a local diner. I spilled mustard on my shirt, and then dropped a section of an orange onto my lap. Before he could say anything, I looked at him and said, “Really, would you even recognize me as your wife if I didn’t spill something on myself”? He thought for a moment, sighed, and then said, “No, probably not”.
Flaws can be learned. Once when we were visiting my family for Thanksgiving, my husband sat at the dining room table curiously watching, as each member of my large family spilled their drinks on their shirts and dropped pieces of turkey, gravy and stuffing into their laps. Then, he slowly looked over at me and smiled. Finally, he had unraveled the mystery of his wife’s strange eating habits. He had found one of the generational roots that anchored our family tree firmly in the grounds of habitual food dropping. I would not be surprised if he had traced this phenomenon all the way back to our earliest ancestors who sat on the uppermost limbs, dropping pieces of nuts and berries all over themselves.
Some people’s flaws can be dangerous such as driving while intoxicated, or physically or emotionally abusing a loved one. Those are the kind of flaws that need to be seriously looked at and changed. People usually need the help of a good counselor or support group to tackle the painful core issues behind this type of behavior. But little, harmless personality flaws that don’t even get noticed or irritating to your mate until years and years of marriage, are just a part of what makes up who we really are. They are like our own individual signature or fingerprint. They are the stuff that bonds and unites us together with the rest of humanity. I have never met a perfect person, and if I did, I would probably advise them to grow some flaws so that they could fit in better and relate to the rest of us imperfect human beings.
I only allow myself to pick up on what other people are already sending out about themselves, and most of the time what I pick up on is fascinating. People sometimes don't know how very interesting they really are and how much they have to teach others.
The majority of the time when I pick up on a flaw in someone else, I just think, "That's interesting, I have the same flaw". We mostly see in others, what is also within ourselves.
I have some flaws that I definitely want to work on and there are things about my self that I want to improve, but I know that I will never be perfect. I don’t think that any of us were even meant for the grandiosity of perfection. This has taught me more about accepting myself and others than any thing else in this beautiful and sometimes confusing world. I am learning to accept both my good points and my flaws.
I am not alone in my imperfection and neither are you. We’re all in this together. Go ahead spill some food on yourself now and then. It’ll all come out in the wash.