Those are some of the best words that have ever been said to me. Even better than some of the instances of, "I love you".
I've screwed up in my life. So so so many times. I can never pretend to be perfect. I never would. I've even done things for which I don't believe I'll ever be forgiven. Partially that's a factor of the badness of the thing done, partially a factor of the person or people effected by the thing.
There are things for which I never believed I would be forgiven, but that I was. There are people in my life who have seen me at my worst, who have been subjected to me at my most depraved... and yet, they have come back to me.
Sometimes people wonder out loud to me how I can be friends with some of the people I am, love the people I love, how I can continue to love people who hurt me... and it's at least partially because I know that I am far from perfect. It doesn't hurt that flawed people are really interesting too.
I love people now, because of, in spite of, their imperfections. I look for their flaws. I've stopped looking for perfection. I just want someone perfect For Me. I want to eventually be with someone whose worst faults are things I can live with. Because all the great events and parties and shows, all the fun flash and whatnot, all the bells and whistles will eventually fade away, and what you'll be left with is everything else. Just the soul of the person. With all its goodness and badness, with all of its multi-coloredness. You'll be left with the essence of a person. With their kindness or their meanness, with their gentleness or their brusqueness, with their desire for closeness, or desire for isolation, with their trust or their suspicions. I want someone to look at me and say, "I love all of you, all of everything, the quirks, the weird things, the good things, the bad. All of it. I love you for being you." I want to be able to look at someone, look into their eyes, and say the same thing.
In utter despair recently I asked a dear friend, "After all I put you through, after everything I did. How did you finally forgive me? Why?" He said simply, "You were worth it."
This is love. It's not romantic, it doesn't have to be. It's just love in its most pure form. It's a feeling, an action, it's something that takes the whole person and accepts them as is.
Though I've quoted it before, I never fully understood the following poem until that moment:
"He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic , rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In!"
From the poem "Outwitted"
— Edwin Markham
I felt like I was broken before, I was at a very low point, feeling that all was lost, that I was worthless... and I cried out... but with four small words, I realized how foolish I was to feel that way. I was taken in by the circle.
I believed in myself again... I believe in love... and I am full of gratitude and hope.