As Is

“As is.” It’s a phrase used to describe something that—while not perfect—might be worth something anyway. It implies damage—not the irreparable kind but damage nonetheless. The clear implication is this: if you’re looking for perfect, this isn’t it; if you’re looking for something that could be beautiful if given a chance…this one’s worth a shot.

When talking about wedding vows with a friend recently, this phrase came to mind. Anyone who has bounced around in the sea of life long enough to be thinking about wedding vows has undoubtedly garnered a few scrapes and dings along the way. The marks and scars of all that has come before are there—even when said marks can’t be seen with the naked eye. We’re all “As is” in one way or another.

When Chris and I wrote our wedding vows almost a dozen years ago, we started with this: “I embrace you…with all your quirks and imperfections.” We promised to stick it out even on the tough days…to hang together through all the unknown but inevitable changes, scrapes, challenges, dings that were yet to come. Though we saw the existing damage, anticipated more bumps ahead, we also saw the potential and rolled up our sleeves to work hard at creating something lovely.

Both in and out of the romantic context, I am lucky to have a heart, a life is filled with wonderfully, interestingly damaged people. We all bear the marks of the good and bad that has come before. Together we persevere. Despite flaws and foibles, fears and failures, we strive to know more, be better…to keep opening our hearts and minds again and again in hopes that THIS time we’ll get it right. Even with so many imperfections, we see the beauty, the potential and we embrace one another with all of our quirks and imperfections. We gratefully, unconditionally accept one another “As is.”

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