Please stop trying to sell me your perfection.

You are flawed and I’m flawed and we’re both wearing shiny cloaks of virtue but I know that when the day is done and the lights are dimmed, you shed all your sainthood like snakeskin and I do too. Tell me what you’re hiding, what you’re harbouring, what you don’t want the world to know about yourself for fear that it will be cast into light.

Tell me about the times you couldn’t save yourself. Give me your broken parts, your fractured pieces, everything that’s weighed too heavily on the floor of your heart for you to ever reach down and reassemble. Tell me where you went the first time that you lost yourself. Tell me the ways in which you never came back. Give me a map with coordinates that lead into the deepest, most twisted corner of your soul where all of your unconquered demons still lurk. Let me see them. Let me reach out and touch them with my own trembling fingers, because I still can’t bear to face my own.

Give me your shortcomings. Tell me the story of the first person you never became and all the ways in which you let him die. Tell me which regrets tear on your heartstrings and which unfulfilled dreams still take up residence under your skin. Show me the mountains you never conquered, the roads you never traversed, the battles you surrendered before ever setting foot upon enemy soil. Show me the things you never measured up to because there’s no war more wounding than the one we never waged and there’s no road more daunting than the one that we never walked down.

Give me your struggles and impurities. Tell me about the worst thing you have ever done. Tell me about the regret that slithered under your skin and beat through your bloodstream like an unwelcome disease after you made the biggest mistake of your life. Tell me how it ripped straight into to your soul and took you over. Talk to me about the times you couldn’t look at yourself in the mirror or fall asleep at night because the malevolence and madness of your own mind kept you reeling. Give me your vices and misjudgments because I can match each one with my own. Tell me all the ways in which you’re scarred by your own capacity for darkness.

Let me fall in love with your human parts – the battles you can’t fight, the wounds you can’t heal, all the ways in which you are not enough for yourself. Give me your joys and your pain in equal measure because you are the most brilliant and terrible mixture of both.

I don’t want your good intentions and your well wishes. I want the whole of you, the depth of you, the breadth of all you are and the light that shines in between your broken parts. Let me fall in love with what you’re missing, what you’ve lost and what you’re still holding onto, through and despite all of it. Show me the things you haven’t lost along the way. And I will show you your own greatest strengths.