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Living Myth

Mosaic presents Living Myth, a podcast with Michael Meade, renowned mythologist and storyteller. Meade presents mythic stories that offer uniquely insightful and wise ways of understanding the current dilemmas of the world we live in. Living Myth proposes that genuine solutions to the complex and intractable problems of our world require both transcendent imagination and cohering, transformative narratives.
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Jul 12, 2023

This episode of Living Myth deals with perfectionism and the inner dynamics of gifts and wounds in the human soul. Some people were told as children that they had to be perfect; others were told they were somehow defective and could never be perfect. Either way can cause a kind of spell and a life-long struggle with perfectionism. And sadly, the stress of trying to be perfect can lead to great feelings of anxiety and aching feelings of low esteem, to eating disorders, sleep disturbances and an overall dissatisfaction in life.

 

The ancient Egyptians had a saying that a beautiful thing is never perfect. In other words, the pursuit of perfection diminishes the amount of beauty, not just in the person, but also in the world. So, ancient artists would often place a defect in their creative works to honor the necessary imperfections of life on Earth. In making earthenware they would leave an area unglazed or allow a small crack to be seen. This imperfection in the vessel made each piece unique, a one of a kind creation never to be repeated in all of time, made more valuable and more beautiful by virtue of the imperfection. Similarly, we each inherit some inner gold that can only shine through the cracks and faults that also exist within us.

 

In the strange balance that exists on earth, we are each unique and gifted in some way and we are each born with a wounded side, like a limp that holds us back or a weak wing that makes taking off in life more difficult. Being a whole person turns out to include accepting the holes and the faults in ourselves.

 

In the end, our wounds are intimately bound up with our gifts. In accepting our inner wounds and learning to carry them, we find parts of ourselves that are not wounded. And then it turns out that the wound becomes a kind of womb from which we can continually be reborn.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting Living Myth. You can hear Michael live by joining his new free online event “The Deep Self Within” on Thursday, July 13.

 

Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.  

 

You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Members receive bonus episodes each month, access to the full archives of over 540 episodes and a 30% discount on all events, courses and book and audio titles.

 

Learn more and join this community of listeners at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

If you enjoy this podcast, we appreciate you leaving a review wherever you listen and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you well during this challenging and uncertain times and thank you for your support of our work.

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