Strive for learning, not perfection. This is our new courageous mantra conclusion from my husband after reading the same book.
We were talking about cognitive illusions, the utterly subtle attempt from our conscious to prevent our authenticity and intuitive reaction to events and people. Psychopath is a typical example. They are very hard to be called out, since the very mission they allow themselves is to disguise themselves as someone going through huge crises, stuck with the wrong people, have a hard life, talented but not understood, people left them because they were not able to appreciate or help. Even more fascinating, there are lies which they tell so often that they decide it is now the truth and they are not only justified to tell them as the truth but also can only live with themselves when they are the truth.
We usually detect the oddness and the warning signs, especially when this person says everything is shit and all his friends are shit, or the same event keeps reoccurring, but the other voice, tells us to buy into the manipulation and believe that we are special and have a purpose here with this person or situation. Looks like we are trying to do something selfless to lend a poor one a hand, but deep down we long for a connection, the cognitive illusion that if I’m good, I’ll get something valuable in return. Be it a partner who promised you a wonderful life, a friendly shoulder to lean on, or just simply the feeling that I’m a superior human being because I lowered myself to help someone, hmm, less superior.
And we know where it goes afterwards. The love-of-your-life is not giving you such a great life but hell, the friendly shoulder turns out to be an exchange of favors one creepier after another, and you end up blaming yourself because what mother said turns out to be not wrong, again – there’s no free lunch.
It is tricky to stay in the illusion that we did something purely great even though we ignored the warning signs and just wanted to show sympathy. We have to accept that we as humans are not that a sophisticated and self-sufficient species, not yet at least, and that we make lots of mistakes when we are not aware of our process of thinking. And even with the willingness and openness to learn about how crazy simple or complicated our thinking processes go, we can only strike to learn from our mistakes and stay open and vulnerable and continue to learn.
The illusion to be great or perfect only sets ourselves up for frustration and stigma, it is the tiny baby steps to stay vulnerable and honest to yourself, to try and embrace all what is. After all if there’s nothing in there for us, despite how many layers of conditioning and pre-existing experiences and triggers to penetrate before it reaches the sweet spot that resides within you as the pure connectedness and togetherness, why would we even have bothered to allow anyone or anything to have co-existed with a part of ourselves? This awareness allows the possibility that we continue to evolve, nurture ourselves and our society with acceptance, love and imperfections.
Now I see that as a purpose, besides the other million humane and not so perfect purposes I have 🙂