In literature, there is a certain archetype described as the "fatally flawed". Anna Karenina, for example, possessed character flaws that ultimately led to her downfall. Hamlet was one. Achilles was another. The Hare (of tortoise fame) was another.
Depression is often characterized by its ability to foreground our flaws and too many times, through its murky veil, have I viewed myself as fatally flawed.
But what exactly is a character flaw?
I think it is something embedded in our nature – usually acquired during our formative years – that can cause problems for us and the people around us. Essentially, a flaw is something that makes us imperfect as a human.
In gemology, flaws are called "inclusions". These tiny pieces of entrapped foreign debris can serve as valuable clues to help unravel the secrets of a gem's past. Not only can inclusions reveal the place of the jewel's formation, they are also hallmarks of the processes which gave rise to the precious stones.
Flaws? They are clearly not seen as such by everyone. A certain type of "inclusion" in a sapphire, known as "silk", actually adds to the value of the jewel. As the sapphire tries to push the impurities out over time, the process creates tiny, beautiful, light reflecting streaks.
Pink, blue or canary coloured diamonds are far more valuable than their perfect white cousins, and yet it is their flaws – imperfections in their formation – that gave them their colour.
Learning this about gem stones has led me to my current mantra. I have typed it on a "sticky" on my laptop screen and I urge you to say it to yourself now:
"Having flaws and trying the best I can makes me more lovable, more beautiful and more rare than if I was perfect".
A Moodscope member.