Ring the Bells that Still Can Ring

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.

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