I remember the first time I ever read the line “No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence.” I like that line.
For some reason however, we view others and put them on a pedestal. This begins at birth. This begins with the people in our life and in our family. This begins with our mothers and fathers and older siblings. We are trained to believe in a pecking order. We are taught and trained to think and hold people in specific regard because of who they are and the positions they hold.
It is important to remember that there are two sides to the god complex; there is the one that believes so highly in themselves and their ability and there is the other one that supports this and allows them to be up on a pedestal. I cringe about this because in fairness, I don’t want to be either of the two. However and in all honesty, I can see where I have been on both sides of this equation. Therefore, in a display of true humility, I admit to the exact nature of my wrongs. I admit to who I am, which is only human (just like you).
Sure, I have imperfections. I’m exactly like anyone else in this world. I have flaws and defects. I have sins and secrets. I’m like anyone who lives and breathes. I’m like anyone else with insecurities or worries and questions. I have the desire to improve. I have compulsions and desires that have sometimes gotten away from me. I’ve beaten myself up about this. And that’s the truth. I’ve punished myself but to what avail? In fact, when it comes to compulsion, self-deprecating discussions do nothing else but strengthen the urges for compulsions that lead me away from my path. The reason behind this is because compulsion defies logic. And when we feel bad about ourselves, our brain has a natural tendency to look for something that will make us feel better. Therefore, in the face of quick-fix compulsions, the worse you feel the more you re-up. Therefore, I had to change my place in this cycle. Otherwise, I’d have to get ready for more of the same.
I make mistakes. I say the wrong things. I’ve behaved in inappropriate ways and I’ve said inappropriate things. I’ve misjudged, overreacted and procrastinated. I’ve given up a few times. I’ve quit. I’ve destroyed both myself and the hopes of others. I’ve let my resentments take me away. I’ve lost my temper and said mean things to people that had nothing to do with my anger. I admit to this because this is part of the exact nature of my wrongs.
I have fears, doubts and questions. I have mornings when the alarm clock rings and I struggle to see the point. I have bills and financial worries. I’ve cheated to win. I’ve manipulated. I’ve coerced. I’ve abused power and taken advantage of my position. And wholeheartedly, I admit to my faults and my wrongs because the one thing I know is that no one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence. Denying my faults only serves to weaken my truth. And the truth is I want to be better. But if I want to be better then I have to be honest about my need to improve.
The main ingredient that separates us or makes us unique is the way we respond to this. We all have a core. We all have the same basic feelings. We may respond differently and we might react differently; something troublesome to me might not be troublesome to someone else but still, there is something to us at the core, which we need to satisfy.
We have different cultures and levels of understanding. We have different talents and traits. We have different strengths and weaknesses. We all bleed. We all worry. We all get angry. We’ve all had our moments when we shake our fists. None of us are so different that we cannot understand the bare minimum of emotional distraction. None of us can honestly say we’ve never given into our personal biases. The color of my skin or the money in your pocket or the strength in someone’s arms is only a physical distraction to one plain and simple truth:
In one second, life could humble us all. In fact, it has.
In one second, life can change and nothing can stop this; not the strength in someone’s arms, the money in your pocket or the color of my skin could stop the momentum of life’s terms. In the end, the only place we are all truly created equal is that we all face an eventual finality.
Don’t believe me?
Then ask someone that had to sit in front of a doctor and hear the word, “Terminal”.
Ask a parent that had to sit in front of a surgeon when regarding their child and hear the word, “Inoperable”.
Ask a man that had to bury his son or ask a son that said farewell to his father.
Ask a mother that could not touch her newborn but only view her child through a glass box. Or ask a daughter how her life changed the day she lost her mother.
Suddenly, all of our triumphs and strengths; all of our wealth and benefits become shriveled and small because, essentially, we are all terribly small in comparison to the size of real life. In fact, the most humbling episodes of our lifetime come when we are humbled down to size and forced to realize exactly how small we are in comparison to how “Big” we behaved.
Sure, I have imperfections. I have flaws and I make mistakes. I say the wrong things. I feel awkward and out of place. I feel insecure, irritated, emotional and just like countless others out there, my list goes on.
And so does my life, if I let it.
My ability to overcome has little to do with the size of my fears. Instead, my ability to overcome my fears depends upon my determination. This means my level of success will always be matched by the depth of my commitment
My ability to endure and overcome has little to do with my imperfections. Instead, my ability depends upon focus because the last thing I need to focus on are the physical or mental distractions because they only prove to deter me and prevent me from reaching my best possible success.
In one second, life could humble me. And this has happened on several occasions. I’ve had to pick myself up again. I’ve had to do this more times than once. Each time, the rebuild can be consecutively harder. I admit to this.
I’ve had to dust myself off. I’ve had to bow out gracefully and worse, I’ve had to bow out shamefully because I’ve made mistakes that were otherwise humiliating and wrong.
I felt ashamed. I felt embarrassed. And truth be told, I felt terrible because I was caught. See, this is something people don’t explain. This is not what we talk about.
Think about the times people are caught and they fess up. They apologize. They feel terrible. But mainly, the reason we feel so terrible is because we were caught. Now we are seen as less than perfect. We quickly became human and the god complex folded inward.
There is a reason why Mark Twain said “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”
Rather than kick and scream or complain, we can also put our faults and imperfections to the side. We can allow our mistakes to rest and focus on our strengths. We can focus on our ability. We can focus on our rebuild and means to improve. Otherwise, if we choose, we can focus on our failure and remain in the same mindset.
We can focus on the tasks at hand and train us to become deaf to the words and the opinions around us. We can train our thinking to believe in our ability instead of doubting everything we do. We can rearrange the internal narrative to cheer us on instead of degrade our efforts.
Life can change at any minute.
There will always be an external person or source that appears to be an obstacle. There will always be problems. The idea is to view them as opportunities to overcome and look for the possibilities to navigate around them. Otherwise, get ready for more of the same.
No one is perfect. No one deserves to be on a pedestal. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence. Plus, if we idolize and place people so high up above us then we will only be surprised and disappointed to learn that “Hey look! They’re human too.”
Stop with the pedestal.
It’s great to seek motivation. It’s great to be inspired. But stop with the pedestal. This only proves to promote others. But what we need to do is promote us.