Coming Up for Air

Ihave a tendency of putting people up on ridiculously high pedestals.  I’m talking level below gods high.

While I haven’t yet fully unpacked this habit to appreciate or understand why I do it, I have some solid ideas to help explain it.  For the most part it comes down to the ridiculously low level I place myself at.  In viewing myself as sub-par and sub-standard, it makes it easy to throw everyone else up to places that aren’t necessarily accurate.

I typically do this with 90% of the people I meet.  For whatever reason, be it their social standing, their beliefs or even the manner through which they live their life, I almost instantly see it as something better than me and mine.

It isn’t a wallowing better-than-me comparison though.  On the contrary, I will often look at these people on the pedestals I have crafted for them and marvel at them.  I want to be more like them.  I strive to embody whichever trait or characteristic it is that I initially put such a heavy value on.

As with a lot of things though, I eventually do wake up but it can take me some time before I allow myself to be privy to the idea that people aren’t the perfect idols I have made them out to be.

I had one of these shifts in perspective a few weeks back.  The shift came after months of confusion, uncertainty and deep hurt and pain on my part.  I’ve experienced some pretty dark periods when it comes to a particular relationship and I had chalked those more painful emotions up to my own faults and weaknesses.  Maybe I was the one who was making something out of nothing.  Perhaps I was seeing things that weren’t really there.  My neurosis has landed me deep in some pretty out there thinking in the past so why should this particular circumstance and relationship be any different?  It was likely a neurotic, over-analyzed situation that was playing out far differently in my head than what was actually happening in reality.

I pinned it all on myself.  Blamed myself for my thoughts and confusion.  Chalked it up, once again to my being a lesser person than the other person who I had thought was pretty perfect.

A strange thing happens though, when I begin to notice that people are human.  I compare it to that time that seems to inevitably happen in anyone’s life when they come to see their parents not so much as their parents but as human.  You realize they have faults too and struggle with things.

It’s an incredibly humbling feeling and for me an unbelievably eye-opening one too.

It isn’t something that makes me feel superior.  It doesn’t involve an ounce of comparison or judgement even.  It’s a subtle yet powerful realization which can sometimes bring about an awakening and sometimes remind me that we’re all the same.

With the particular relationship I am referencing here, it has helped me to let go and has also allowed me a certain level of grace and forgiveness directed towards myself.  Which feels very foreign but not altogether unpleasant.

In a strange turn of events, it has allowed me to see that my intuition is trustworthy.  It has allowed me to lift the self-imposed blame I have been carrying for months.  It has taken away the shame and confusion and uncertainty.

Perhaps most importantly, it has allowed me to take a great deal of power back and make some space in my own heart for me.  I have been carrying this person for a while; I’ve been carrying a lot of their energy which I now understand isn’t something I necessarily asked for, but was rather placed on me.  I didn’t walk into this situation.  I didn’t complicate it.

The other person brought me in.  They used me and played upon my inherent nature of (sometimes too) freely given love and support.   I have been their security blanket for whatever reason.  I have been carrying their life.  I didn’t ask to.  But I have been.

There was a new moon this last weekend, which fell on my birthday.  I had read some articles last week leading up to it about what this particular new moon could represent, and the common theme of healing resurfaced in some form in everything I read.

At some point last week though, much to my surprise some weight lifted off of me.   It was just gone.  I attribute this partly to some work I have been doing during the last several weeks especially.

My 37th year was a year filled with a lot of self-reflection and soul-searching.  I learned a lot about myself in the last 12 months.  I still don’t have a solid grasp on who I am, but I feel I am moving closer to that.  Late last week, just before my birthday a shift happened.  It was unplanned and unexpected and sort of fell into my life at some point while I was busy living it.

For the first time in a very long time, my confidence has increased.  I am actually comfortable in my skin.  I might even go so far as to say I am beginning to like myself.  I recognize the value that I have.  I am starting to put myself first and not desperately flail out to others to add some value or worth to my life.

I feel like things are not just going to be okay.  I feel like things could be great.  Maybe even amazing.

With Love,

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Olivia Shaw

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