Love and appreciate your uniqueness and your “imperfections.” Question the costs of chasing perfection. Delight in who you are.
The story of Nuada is a very ancient one that has woven itself into different themes and variants over different times and places. One thing that stays constant is his exploration of suitability and perfection.
Nuada is the King of Erin, one of the heroic Tuatha dé Danann, which was one of the mythical ancient races of Ireland. According to myth, these early Celtic times were far from peaceful, with bloody battles being waged continuously. During one of the major battles, the Dananns, led by Nuada and his sword of invincibility, defeated the Firbolgs. The fighting was so bloody and fierce, though, that Nuada lost his right hand. This was a disaster for Nuada, as there was an ancient law that precluded anyone who was not “whole” from being king. His mutilation lost him his rule even though he was a victorious, just, and benevolent leader.
The Dananns then chose Bres as their leader. Bres, although a skilled fighter, had little of Nuada’s wisdom and fairness. The kingdom soon felt the effects of this discordant king.
Nuada’s brother, the physician Dian Cecht, fashioned a magical silver hand to replace the one Nuada had lost. Not only functional, the silver hand was beautiful too. Nuada became Nuada Airgedlámh (Nuada of the Silver Hand), again worthy among his people, and Bres stepped down from the throne.
Today, more than ever, we chase perfection, but what is it really? We often see external perfection as necessary to success. The quest for perfect beauty and a perfect body has thrown us toward a predilection for worrying about our external looks, “enhancing” ourselves with too much makeup and even surgery, and obsessing over dieting and unhealthy eating habits. When did the fact that we have healthy, strong, functional bodies become not enough?
We are born with everything we need to be what we are meant to be. We are born imperfectly perfect! Our uniqueness has a reason. Nuada reminds us that to be perfect, we need not pursue some unattainable and false ideal. Perfection is a subjective judgment and not an objective reality. In Nuada’s case, he was the best leader; his missing hand did not take away from his great leadership qualities.
Many people state that they are perfectionists like it is a badge of honor. While trying to be excellent and the best we can be is admirable, striving for an unattainable illusion is tiring and damaging. Remember, should Nuada show his hand to you, consider that you may well be good enough already!
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