Intimacy, reality, and the illusion of perfection

I watched Good Will Hunting the other night and there is a scene in the movie in which Robin Williams is talking to Will about Will’s reluctance to date Minnie Driver’s character because he is afraid to learn more about her and find out she isn’t perfect afterall. The line Robin William’s character said stuck with me. It was something like “I’ve got news for you, sport. You’re not perfect. She’s not either. The question is, are you perfect together? That is what intimacy is all about.”

It made me think about love/desire/intimacy and fear. It seems that it is one of the age-old truths about love, that while it does offer unique opportunities for union and the lifting of ego boundaries — at the same time, it faces us with our loved one’s ‘otherness’.

That we desire this other, that we yearn for him or her, does not eliminate the disappointment that is inevitable as we strive to know and possesses them. Why? Because we cling to our expectations of completion and wholeness and perfection when none of these is possible in the ways we have imagined. Our minds are too limited.

And so it is we ourselves who are the creators of our own dissatisfaction, for we cling to the hope, to the ideal, that some one or some thing will be ultimately satisfying to us. And before long, we are faced with the disappointing truth: that wonderful or perfect-seeming as the object of our desire appeared to be, it is flawed.

But it has occurred to me that it is our disappointment in love/desire and how we come to terms with it (or don’t) that is truly interesting. It deepens our inner lives, makes us grow, and illuminates the true nature of reality in contrast with the ideal.

When the first flush of New Relationship Energy has faded and you and your loved one are naked to each other, bared of illusions — are you disappointed with reality, or do you embrace it?