How to say 'I wouldn’t change one single thing about you' and actually mean it

We were sitting in a stadium listening to singer songwriter John Legend and thinking about the words in his hit song, "All of Me." And you know what? There is a message in that song to which we should all pay attention.

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  • The song says, in part, "All of me loves all of you…love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections…I give you all of me, and you give me all of you."

  • The key word is ALL.

  • Do we love all of the one we love the most? Or are there those little things we wish we could change about our husband or wife, or about our girlfriend or boyfriend; Those little things that bug us. Those little things that we wish they would get over or fix or correct? Then we could love them more, right? Then we could love ALL of them.

  • What if someone gave you a magic wand that you could just wave over your One-And-Only and change three things about him or her? What three things would you change about their personality, about their quirks, about their habits, about their tendencies?

  • When you read that question did some things jump into your mind? Little annoying things they do, little character flaws, little things that drive you nuts?

  • Well, be very careful with those three wishes because in fixing one thing, you might mess up another. You might change one thing, and that might set off a little chain reaction and change other things as well — things you actually love.

  • You might change his impulsiveness and find that it also changed his spontaneity. You might change his messiness and absent-mindedness and find that it also changed his creativity. You might change her ditsy-ness and find that it also changed her dreaminess. You might change his romantic-ness and find that it also changed his macho-ness. You might change her pushiness and find that it also changed her drive and ambition.

  • The point is that humans are complex organisms, and everything in them is interconnected and linked. If you tamper with one part, it might seriously alter other parts as well — other parts that you love.

  • What if the very things that bug us about each other are just the flip sides of the things we love most about each other? What if John Legend is exactly right — that we need not to change our partners as much as to love "all their curves and all their edges, all their perfect imperfections?"

  • What if the key is giving ALL of you and receiving and accepting ALL of him (or her)? What if real love is not about trying to change or fix your spouse but about realizing that you love that whole organism — ALL of it; and about trying to love it even more by making it even happier, and by making yourself more worthy to be with it, more useful and caring for it, more complementary to it and appreciative of it, of ALL of it.

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  • What if real love is about total accepting, about loving the total integrated being without any reservation or caveat? What if real love is not about changing your partner but about changing yourself in ways that will make your partner happier?

  • With all of this interconnectedness in mind, it is actually possible to look into the eyes of the one you love most and say, in all honesty and all sincerity, "I love all of you, I love everything about you, and there is not one little thing that I would change."

  • And the amazing thing is that, once you can really say that, and really mean it, things do start to change, and always for the better.

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Richard and Linda Eyre are New York Times #1 Bestselling Authors and founders of JoySchools.com who speak worldwide on marriage and parenting issues. Their new books are The Turning, and Life in Full.

Website: http://www.valuesparenting.com

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