With Valentines' Day around the corner, I thought that I might share this excerpt from John Cowan's SMALL DECENCIES.
My wife asks for reassurance of my love, and I always hesitate, wondering what the word means this time or, for that matter, what the word means at all. The other day I came up with an answer. Love as the dictionary puts it, "ardent affection", has meaning only when linked with forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the touchstone that distinguishes love from infatuation. I have been infatuated with other people. I see no faults in them. Nothing annoys me. They are perfect gems. That, of course, is not true. But that is the nature of infatuation, not to see the full person. The nature of love is to see the full person, flaws as well as charms, and forgive the flaws. Not reluctantly, but swiftly, automatically. To the point where the flaws themselves become charms.
Some people believe they cannot live with less than perfect, and therefore they cannot forgive, and therefore they cannot love.
Isn't that just a lovely way of saying I LOVE YOU this Valentine's Day?
Love despite the short comings. None of us are perfect.