Love, Self

Be Strong Enough To Let Go/Wise Enough To Wait For What You Deserve

Photo: weheartit
Be Strong Enough to Let Go/Wise Enough to Wait

I was going to be a painter. I was pretty good, too. I could paint a gorgeous still life and an arresting portrait. I even sold quite a few paintings but only the ones I didn't think were quite done yet. Nobody seemed interested in my finished paintings, just the unfinished versions.

In most of my painting classes, the professors would watch my progress happily, as we spent day after day working on the same canvas. Until, one day, they would throw up their hands and say, "What are you DOING?! You ruined it!"

What I didn't know was that I had to stop, had to let the flaws be the flaws that made the pictures interesting, let the quirks be beautiful and striking on their own.

But it's hard to let go of something when you've put so much work into it.


Relationships are like those paintings. You spend so much time, so much physical and emotional energy, trying to make them work. Trying to make them perfect. To work on the flaws and the inconsistencies, until you have something indisputably beautiful.

And every time you fix something that wasn't quite right, you find something else. And sometimes, that something else is unfixable. Sometimes, the only thing you can do is paint over your whole canvas and start over.

The more work you put into a relationship, the more it seems like you have to stick it out. As though the fact that you spent months or years trying to make something broken work was a binding agreement to keep doing it until everything worked.


But relationships aren't like that. They're like cars, or computers, or paintings. If you replace the broken bits, realign the components, and even get a second pair of eyes on the thing every once in a while, that doesn't mean it's ever going to be better. All it means is that you're wasting your time trying to make it so, when you could have picked up a sketch book and started over again. And it's never too late to do that.

There's one thing you need when it comes to finding a relationship that isn't a lemon, and it's the same thing you need when painting in oils: Patience. You need to stop and step back and look objectively at your life, yourself, or your painting, and know that somebody is going to come along who sees that it's perfect the way it is: Unfinished, kind of messy, but beautiful and unique.

You need to find in yourself the wisdom and the patience to wait for the relationship you deserve, rather than trying to turn a bad relationship into one that's good enough.

Letting go of a crappy relationship is hard. It's painful to think about, because you're abandoning your unfinished work. You're admitting you poured love and optimism and so much effort into something that didn't work out in the end.


But when the right relationship comes along, you know. It's easy to look at it and say, "This is messy and this is unfinished but it makes ME happy, and it's easy to be a part of it."

It won't be a never-ending parade of corrections and apologies; it won't be you making excuses for why you're not happy, why you're not fulfilled; it won't be frustration peppered with moments of happiness.

It will be happiness, dotted with bits of the annoyances of another person's unfinished life. 

And it will be beautiful.