Nothing is perfect.
How many times have you heard this uttered throughout your life? A dozen? A thousand? A million? So, why do we so often try to idealize people, places, and things?
We let exes ruin tastes. We let negative events ruin wonderful places. We hold grudges against friends and family, ruining good memories. We let the bad trump the good, to define our world. If nothing is perfect, we are going to be really unhappy campers- letting imperfections ruin everything for us.
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
― Salvador Dalí
The world isn’t absolute. How else would you be able to explain a murderer who happens to be a great father? Varying memories from a place like New Orleans, that thrives culturally yet has suffered extremely from the effects of a natural disaster? Good and bad are intertwined, sometimes deeply, in every sense triggering feature of the world. You can’t have one without the other. But would you want to?
“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.”
― Madeleine L’Engle, A Ring of Endless Light
It’s hard to be thankful for pain, agony, or downers when experiencing them- but that doesn’t mean they’re not helpful. Would you not be desensitized to blessings if they were free flowing? Would you be as deeply appreciative of the ups without the downs? Would you have as much depth if you’d not known hardship? Still be empathetic? These questions may not be poignant enough to raise awareness on the worth of dark times, but hopefully they show the purpose of them.
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
― Leonard Cohen
Nothing is perfect, and imperfections serve their purpose, so a great option is to embrace blemishes on the world around us, or at least not let them ruin something that previously provided joy. Life has enough misery on it’s own, more doesn’t need to be applied to aspects of life that have potential happiness.
Don’t let the bad define the good. Let the good shine, and take joy in anything you can, tainted or not. Mentally remind yourself that you deserve it. I still do.
A dark post, but it doesn’t have to be.
We all think it. We all care. Wondering what other’s think of us, valuing their opinions. In our darkest moments we ponder if they’d miss us when we’re gone. We see heart bearing social media posts for friends who passed too soon, even from strangers to the deceased. We wonder if our own untimely passing would elicit such emotion, such regret, such love.
“Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.”
― Anne Frank
For my own part, I know I often feel underappreciated. Whether this feeling is supported by fact or the outside world is a debate for another time, but nonetheless it is a thought that passes through me often and probably through many others. I go out of my way to be kind. In fact it would hurt me not to be. I enjoy being supportive and lovely, even in the face of adversity. What I do not appreciate is being taken advantage of or being taken for granted. It happens all too frequently because it is not in my nature to be anything but nice, even when standing up for myself. Inevitably people regret hurting me because my actions never gave them a reason to deservedly treat me so poorly, but that takes years of self reflection and leaves me wallowing for a good while beforehand.
I wonder, would it take a tragic end to me for people to appreciate the light I try so hard to spread. I don’t spread it because I am weak, or because I never have seen pain. I spread it because I’ve suffered and I wouldn’t wish others to feel that low. Because though my faith in humanity is shot, I have faith in every individual I meet.
“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
― Robin Williams
What is so wrong in our society that it often takes death for overwhelming support to truly show from a community? Support that the person being supported may never feel. Why can’t we reflect on those in our lives while they are in them. When the impact will matter for the person. Maybe if we could express our love openly there would be less sadness. The fact that more than once in conversation the logic of “I wish I was dead so people would appreciate me” has been uttered by multiple people is appalling. Tragedy shouldn’t be the spark for love. Love should flow constantly and consistently. Maybe then we will feel comfortable enough in our own skins to shine. And light spreads far more efficiently than darkness.
So please tell people in your life you love them, and why. Who cares if it’s sappy. Who cares if it’s hard. They may need to hear it, and you could be giving them the boost they need to change the world for the better.