"I Would Rather Be Whole..."
Recently I came across a quote from Carl Jung, "I would rather be whole than good."
I might plaster that on every wall in my house. I might use it as a header on every note I send to clients and collaborators.
I might write a whole song cycle around that idea, and then pay a 150 voice choir to sing it for ten days in a row in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral.
Why do I love this so?
Because it is, in my experience, one of the primary, numero uno blocks creatives come up against. We have such a hard time letting go of being "good." Not making waves. Not making anyone angry or upset. Not insisting too loudly on our truth, or our boundaries.
And this, this insistence on being good, being nice, being acceptable and safe, is a sure fire way to short circuit our own best ideas.
On the other hand...
Being whole suggests we recognize we aren't all sugar. There's spice and probably a few puppy dog tails in there. Being whole means we know we are shadowy, mixy creatures who make mistakes, hurt others (and/or ourselves), and keep getting out of bed in the mornings anyway.
It takes courage to be whole and to give voice to that wholeness. It takes some lived and felt experience. And it is so so worth it. Elizabeth Taylor used to quote a photographer she met early in her career who told her that scars were a part of any woman's beauty. In this era of photoshop, it's good to remember that.