Last year, when the great Leonard Cohen passed away, a refrain from one of his popular songs was often cited – one that has had me thinking about it since:
Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering /
There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in
I have been reflecting on what this means to me.
My interpretation is that we are all somewhat “cracked” and imperfect. We have all traveled different paths. We all look different. We think differently about different subjects.
And yet, we need to ring our bells, offer our best, and live our lives as we want, to our fullest. We need to appreciate ourselves.
As humans, we all have insecurities. We all compare ourselves to others, and think that others have it better: a better life, better home, better jobs, and yes, better bodies. It is natural to compare.
It is also natural to be harder on ourselves than we are on others. I look at myself and wish I weighed less, had different proportions, a more beautiful face, looked more like that woman on the beach.
But I am working at changing that mindset. The older I get, the less it worries me. I certainly have put aside worries about what other people think of me. And now I am working on how I think about myself.
I don’t have a perfect life. I make mistakes. I don’t have the greatest house, nose, car, clothing, body. But I have enough. I have what I need and I am blessed with what I have. My body is strong and able, so that I can run, walk, swim, remain active. I have my health and want to take advantage of that as long as I can.
Rather than think of my body as an imperfect vessel, I cherish its strength and health. Rather than think of all the things I could have, I cherish what I do have.
I have cracks. But I’m going to ring my bells anyway!