A few weeks ago, I started reading a book called “The Power of Myth“ by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers.
I’ve always been a huge mythology fan as I’ve always been fascinated by the colorful and creative ways they weave insights and lessons into the stories. This book is a good way to learn how to deconstruct and deeply understand the mechanics behind why myths are so timeless and how they continue to evoke emotion and empathy from all the generations who’ve heard them.
I’m gonna be honest. I haven’t finished the book yet, and I’m struggling quite a bit to do so with my full schedule. Nevertheless, let me share an excerpt that I found rather powerful and relevant in my current situation.
MOYERS: Perfection would be a bore, wouldn’t it?
CAMPBELL: It would have to be. It would be inhuman. The umbilical point, the humanity, the thing that makes you human and not supernatural and immortal — that’s what’s lovable. That is why some people have a hard time loving God, because there is no imperfection there. You can be in awe but that is not real love. It’s Christ on the cross that becomes lovable.
MOYERS: What do you mean?
CAMPBELL: Suffering. Suffering is imperfection, is it not?
This part of their conversation struck me deep because not too long ago, I struggled hard with the pressure to be “perfect” – to be the “best.” And whenever I found myself lacking in any area, – compassion, forgiveness, patience, – I know I would start flagellating myself and then forcing myself to feign kindness and love. Wow. That was a huge struggle – and it was very tiring.
It was only when I told myself to wake up and accept that I’m not meant to be perfect that the load became lighter and I could laugh at myself again.
Everyone suffers. Everyone stumbles and falls. Everyone gets frustrated. And that’s all right. It’s all part of being who we are. And let’s face it, who we are is actually quite beautiful in itself. The uniqueness of our personalities and the nuances that we have make us interesting to others – and to ourselves. Our imperfections are nothing more than nuances that color our lives. Your life portrait might not necessarily depict all the bright colors that you want, but it’s the shadows that give it depth. And it is only when we struggle that we actually find meaning in the journey and what we have learned and achieved from it.
Maybe struggle, seen in a different light, is actually beautiful. It’s a blessing, if we can find a way to accept that it’s part of being who we are. What makes us very interesting is the fact that we are not meant to be perfect.
So we will create potholes. We will slip in them. We will fall on our faces. We will cry in the rain. But without these moments of challenges and despair, we won’t be able to experience what it means to live – nor would we realize the meaning of life.