Wabi Sabi Love

On a cold November day, Arielle Ford (The Soulmate Secret) happened upon an image of a large, cracked Asian urn and noticed the gallery had highlighted the imperfection through lighting. This image accompanied an article on wabi sabi, "the ancient Japanese art form that finds beauty and perfection in imperfection," which inspired Ford to write Wabi Sabi Love, "the art and practice of loving the imperfections in ourselves and in our partners."

Wabi Sabi Love is a primarily a self-help book, as Ford gently guides readers to recognize their own imperfections through stories about actual couples--including Ford and her spouse as well as the Obamas--who have embraced the ways individual imperfection can lead to a more perfect union. Ford believes that lasting love must not only accept the foibles and idiosyncrasies of each partner, but embrace them as singular manifestations of the couple's love: "A key aspect of Wabi Sabi is learning to move our focus from what makes our partners so annoying to what makes our partners so unique." For example, one woman realizes as she is yet again cleaning up the trail of poppy seeds left on the kitchen floor by her husband's daily muffin that the absence of the seeds would mean the absence of her husband, and suddenly the seeds seem as insignificant as their size.

At the end of most chapters, Ford provides exercises to help readers reconcile the daily irritations inherent in partnerships and embrace with gratitude what is most important: unconditional love. --Kristen Galles from Book Club Classics

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