“In general, people are not drawn to perfection in others. People are drawn to shared interests, shared problems, and an individual’s life energy. Humans connect with humans. Hiding one’s humanity to project an image of perfection makes a person vague, slippery, lifeless, and uninteresting.”Robert Glover
Throughout my life, I always thought of myself as a virtuous person with high morals. I had a bad habit of looking down on others to make myself feel good about being good. I used to only be able to percieve myself as a victim of others’ cruelty and carelessness, as if I were “too good” for this world. If someone asked me how my childhood went, I’d be sure to mention the racist bullying I experienced and to curse the town I grew up in for not being evolved enough. It would have never in a million years occurred to me that I could have been someone’s bully; I would be offended at the suggestion.
Nowadays, I have what I like to think is a more realistic attitude. Mistaking myself as being above others has been one of the biggest errors of my life. Only now am I beginning to realize what a truly mediocre and even lousy person I am most of the time. This hasn’t been easy to swallow, but I’m becoming alright with it. Here’s my reasoning:
I take a bit of comfort in knowing that I’m not perfect and never have been. I think perfectionism is an illness that keeps us from being real with ourselves and others. Of course, I still try to work on myself and reach new insights, but I no longer delude myself into believing I’m on a righteous moral path that excludes the majority of people. That’s a crappy attitude to have, in my opinion. It feels better to admit that I’m not above anyone. Because, in the same sense, nobody is above me. We’re all just trying to be good.
My advice for anyone who stumbles across this unpleasant truth is to forgive yourself, forgive others, and do your best to withhold judgement. Judgement of ourselves and others can be useful but it can also make us sick. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this topic more later. For now, realize that judgement doesn’t need to be hurled at everything. It’s possible to sit with your own judgemental thoughts and keep them to yourself, meditating on their usefulness.