Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kelly Clarkson and Loving our Partner’s “Dark Side”

VERY FEW AMERICAN IDOL alums have had the kind of success as Kelly Clarkson. The winner of the first ever season of “Idol”, Kelly Clarkson has gone on to become a pop star with numerous chart topping hits, with only Carrie Underwood, season four winner and country music star, selling more albums.

While Miss Clarkson has had a great deal of commercial success, it would seem from her music that she is having difficulty finding “Mr. Right.” In fact, many of her most popular songs are about love and loss.

For instance, take the chorus of 2004’s “Behind These Hazel Eyes”, a song written after a bad breakup –“Here I am, once again, I'm torn into pieces. Can't deny it, can't pretend, just thought you were the one. Broken up, deep inside, but you won't get to see the tears I cry - behind these hazel eyes.” And, as we hear in one of the hits from her current album, “Stronger”, she is more than capable of bouncing back from romantic disappointments, as she sings, “What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller, doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone.

What doesn't kill you makes a fighter, footsteps even lighter, doesn't mean I'm over ‘cause you're gone.” Clearly, Miss Clarkson has experienced a few speedbumps on the road to finding her soulmate.

So in her latest hit, “Dark Side”, Clarkson asks one of the most important questions when it comes to finding one’s beloved. She sings, “Everybody's got a dark side. Do you love me? Can you love mine? Nobody's a picture perfect. But we're worth it. You know that we're worth it. Will you love me? Even with my dark side?” This song hits upon a key issue that all couples face – we all come with our faults. There are parts of our personality that are not always the most appealing to our potential suitors. Everyone has their baggage. The question for a potential couple is, can you love the entirety of your partner, warts and all? No one is perfect, but are you perfect for each other?

This got me thinking about one of my favorite teachings from Proverbs that I often use during a wedding ceremony. In Proverbs, we read, “Love covers up all faults.” When we are truly in love, we are able to overlook the blemishes of our partner. This does not mean, however, that we are blind to them, that we only see them through rose-colored glasses. We notice our loved one’s imperfections, and may even comment on them (though, from my personal experience, that isn’t always so wise). But in the end, our partner’s flaws do not lessen our love. If anything, the intimacy of being comfortable enough in a relationship to expose your “dark side”, your peccadillos that you don’t share with anyone else, is a true test of a loving bond that will last a lifetime. It is that kind of love that I wish upon Miss Clarkson and everyone else!