More humor and insights from Gilbert. In order to make sure that her soon to be husband knew "what he was getting--and getting into," she presents him with a list of her "very worst character flaws." She calls it a "prenuptial informed consent release," (possibly my favorite line in the book!)
When both she and Felipe have exchanged lists and affirmed their acceptance, Gilbert writes:
There is hardly a more gracious gift that we can offer somebody than to accept them fully, to love them almost despite themselves. I say this because listing our flaws so openly to each other was not some cutesy gimmick, but a real effort to reveal the points of darkness contained in our characters. They are no laughing matter, these faults. They can harm. They can undo....If we are at all self-aware, we work hard to keep these more dicey aspects of our natures under control, but they don't go away.
Regarding trying to change each other (consciously or subconsciously), she says:
Also good to note: If Felipe has character flaws that he cannot change in himself, it would be unwise of me to believe that I could change them on his behalf....And some of the things that we cannot change about ourselves are mirthless to behold. To be fully seen by somebody, then, and to be loved anyhow--this is a human offering that can border on the miraculous.
The result of such mutual acceptance in the dailiness of life, she continues, is to experience in the giving and receiving an act of transcendence, "....that very earthbound, domesticated, dirt-under-the-fingernails gift of difficult, long-term, daily forgiveness."