There is one thing that is and will always be. And that’s life. There is and will always be life around us. There will always be something. There will be reasons why we weep and reasons to rejoice.
There will be incidents and accidents, tragedies and moments so amazing that they only come once in a lifetime. There are however, the daily stressors. There are the hidden tasks which no one else sees or knows about.
There are the bad days and the hard times that no one else experiences and yet, we keep this to ourselves because we’re afraid that this might take away from our value.
There are the mornings when the sun is out and the wind is warm. The sky is blue and the time is right. There is not one without the other. We know this. Yet, somehow we let the look of the sky or the weather predict the value of the day.
Into each life, a little rain must fall is the saying that comes to mind but yet, rain is part of life. And life is not always sunny. The days are not always bright or warm or fair weathered. Then again, life is not always stormy or dark. Even when life seems this way, storms are only temporary and the interpretation of anything else is only due to our perspective. Our viewpoint is based on perception (or the deception thereof) and connected to the data we save and the emotional current that wires through our patterns of thinking, which eventually become our trained systems of belief.
There are times when the weight of life is heavy. There are traumas we experience throughout our life that go against the normal pathways we are accustomed to. There is a natural order in life and yet, somehow, life comes along to defy this.
Moms are never supposed to be sick. Dads are supposed to be strong and know how to fix things. My big brother can beat up your big brother. We are taught about the basic roles we play in each other’s life.
We know about the roles of friendship and through a connective stream of personal data, we compartmentalize people and section them in personality types, levels of importance, shared intimacy, attraction, commonality and comfort. Each compartment is a representation of our ideas and bordered by the boundaries in which we place people according to the way we prioritize them.
We are taught by our lessons and by our ideas to include what kind of people we want in our life and which personalities we admire.
Often, we create a mold and place people in a sense of hierarchy. There are times when we put people on pedestals, ever forgetting the one undeniable truth which is that we are all human. We are all capable of mistakes. We are all subject to influence and put simply, we are all fit to have faults, sins and mistakes.
Mother Theresa had bouts with faith. Even she had desires and ideas and moments where she questioned her path. Mother Theresa dedicated her life to the care of the poor and destitute. She was seen as the perfect nun; however, no one knew what she thought or how she felt deep down. No one knew until some of her journal entries surfaced. And some people were shocked. Does this change the fact that Mother Theresa did great things? The answer is: not at all.
One of the kindest people I knew was a Catholic priest. He was my friend. He was the kind of friend that no one ever forgets. This was a man that could walk into a room and the mood changed just because he came through the doorway.
I viewed this man as a symbol of hope. As a matter of fact, I still do. I saw him as a man without any thoughts other than his kindness and religious devotion. His name comes up from time to time. I never knew he was known as “The Gay Priest”. I never thought he had ideas or sexual urges. I never looked at him this way (as human, I mean). Not that any of this mattered to me. Either way, he was my friend and I loved this man dearly.
There was no controversy behind his name. He never did anything wrong or questionable towards anyone. There was never a bad word said about my friend and wholeheartedly, I would stand in front of anyone to defend him if they tried.
I suppose the interesting part about him is when the newspapers wrote about his death, I wondered why they focused on his identity instead of the work he did. Did they talk about his work with homeless people? Or better yet, I wondered if the reporter ever spoke to someone like myself. I wonder because this man was no man. He was a saint. He wasn’t even human. He was a hero to me. And he still is.
I heard someone regard my friend as if he were less-than miraculous because this was exposed. I shook my head because nothing about this man was less than a miracle to me.
I suppose we forget people are still people. Whether they are part of the clergy, whether they run big corporations, lead in politics or otherwise. No one is above human thought. And yet, there are times we hold people up to higher standards; only to find out that they too have ideas, thoughts or desires, and yes, sometimes our forbidden desires come to light.
Does this diminish the great things we do? Or better yet, if someone is downright evil below the surface, do their good deeds wash away their sins?
There is the idea, in which people see through the eyes of a greater-than or less-than perspective. Our point of view is based on our connections with ideas, thoughts and feelings that are based on experiences. We attach people to the configuration of our ideas and opinions. We create these compartments and labels in our mind that are based on the influence of our education. Who are educated in a sense and we pick who are desirable and why.
This is where we create the social flowchart in our mindset. This is also where we base our comparisons of others as a reflection to ourselves. We build our personal image according to a blueprint and schematic, based on the inputs need to create our identity
There are people that have done great things in this world. They were seen as great and heroic until something personal escaped and suddenly, they only became human. There have been wellness advocates that have changed lives. There are recovery coaches that helped others, only to slide back on their own self-care and then found themselves down and out and sometimes dead. I have seen people that were paraded around until something happened and someone found out that oops, they were only human.
The most empowering venture we can undertake is to realize that no one escapes life without life happening to them. We all have thoughts and ideas. We all have good days and bad. Everyone goes through mental and emotional challenges. However, to canonize or create a personal hierarchy will only lead to disappointment when oops, we find out the people we idolized are only human at best.
I used to put people above me. I believed they were “better” simply because of an exterior persona. I used to believe I was seen as “less-than” because of the different professional and social rankings. One day, I decided that living in the shadows of someone does nothing but keep me in the dark. This results in me never feeling the warm sun on my face or a warm breeze against my skin.
There are people in our life that come with rankings and boundaries. These things are taught. Our priorities and the way we prioritize people are learned lessons, based on a series of ideas, thoughts and needs.
And keep in mind, everything we say or do is done to honor the way we think, feel or need something.
The question becomes how do the people we share time with honor our needs and wants? How do our relationships honor us?
When we place faith in questionable relationships, what does this honor inside of us? If we feel badly, yet, we still try to incorporate a nonworking relationship into our life; what are we honoring? What is the need and what is the fear to accept the difference and simply walk away?
How does this place our best interest first?
When thinking about the people we hold up as superior, where does this honor our abilities to be equally successful? Or lastly, how can we achieve our best possible potential if we see ourselves in comparison to others and measure this in the idea of greater-than or less-than values.
The best lesson I ever learned is do not canonize people. Instead, I humanize them. Allow them the room for the same faults as anyone else. I understand that desirable people are valuable but over-valuing them and placing them above on pedestals can lead to disappointment.
I close with this-
As a fight fan, I watched one of my favorite fighters lose a bout that he was absolutely supposed to win. In the post-fight press conference, one of the reporters asked about the loss to a less-talented competitor. I paraphrase a little, but in the form of a champion, the fighter responded, “I never said I was unbeatable. You said that. Not me.”
The idea of win or lose, good, bad, greater-than or less-than are nothing but dreamed-up assumptions. Therefore no one is better or worse. They are just them. I am me and you are you. And that’s a good thing.
It’s as simple as that.