During a visit I made to Spain, there was a sign in the corner of a small tapas restaurant in Madrid that caught my eye. It contained this quote from Mexican painter Frida Kahlo,

“Take a lover who looks at you and sees magic.” 

I have to admit it but Kahlo’s wisdom was foreign to me. I had never taken a lover who looked at me in such a fashion. Having spent a lifetime convinced that if I wanted my partner to love me, I had to become the person she wanted me to be, I could not easily concede to Kahlo’s concept.

Yet, something about it captivated my imagination. Could this be true? Is there really someone out there who notices my wrinkles and thinning hairline and sees magic? Can another person know my peculiar idiosyncrasies and find them endearing? Is it possible that there is a person out there who would find my lack of fashion sense and lousy golf game enchanting?

Although I had listed in the past everything I wanted in a lover, I had never required them to see me as special and wonderful. Since up to now I believed it was my job to convince my partner that I was worthy of their love, Kahlo’s wisdom burnished a light on the immaturity of my approach.

I am not alone in this    

As a seasoned veteran of on-line dating, I noticed that the profiles from most of the women referred to me by the particular dating system i tried (Match.com, Bumble, Zoosk, etc.) seemed more like a resume from someone who was looking for a job.

Many other profiles were like mine; a list of requirements for the sought-after individual that seemed paramount to the way people require special options to be included in the purchase of a car they are interested in. Something like,

“Looking for a woman taller than 5’- 6”, an excellent dancer, has an athletic build with leather seats and four all-season radial tires.”

Ok, I exaggerated a bit, but you get the picture.

The heart wants what the heart wants. I get that, but is there really someone out there who would turn down a beautiful, talented and accomplished woman (or man) because she is only 5’- 3” tall? That would be as silly as rejecting someone for being left-handed.

But that doesn’t stop us from going out there with our list of requirements.

Kahlo’s wisdom trumps all of this because she requires that our lover see us—exactly as we are—and still beholds our magnificence.  Not included in her quote, but also just as important, is that you see the magic in the person you love as well.

Accepting this new understanding implies we are magic, and that our luck at love will be much better if we look for a romantic partner who sees us as such.

Seeing the magic begins with you

No one can perceive the magic in you if you don’t see it yourself.

My earlier self-references in this article illustrate how negatively I see the signs of aging. Yet I know that my wrinkles and thinning hairline are well earned. They are a sign of the magical wisdom I possess because of the experiences I have lived. I am mistakenly allowing our culture’s focus on youth to undermine the opinion I have of myself. Need to stop doing that crap.

What “blemishes” do you focus on? Isn’t it wonderful to think your genuine beauty would captivate someone else and they wouldn’t even notice the things that bother you? Even better, wouldn’t it be great if we saw ourselves as magic and stopped focusing on our silly hang-ups?

You can bet it will be hard for someone to accept your beauty if you don’t acknowledge it yourself.

We should hold all of our relationships to this standard

It is because love is a part of all relationships that I believe this principle should also apply to friends and family. What is the point of having a friend if he/she only sees your flaws? Don’t waste your time with people who don’t see you as someone special and wonderful, even if they have your blood.

 Where are the right places to find love?

Remember, no matter where you go, there you are. Every place is the right place to find love as long as you love yourself. Start there and the Universe will conspire with you.

Photo by Steven Skerritt on Unsplash