The Pedestal Problem

by Wendy Wolfe on May 13, 2015

 

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”     Mahatma Gandhi

A while back I shared an experience where I confessed to killing a spider.  Shortly after the email was released a client unsubscribed from my list and shared that she couldn’t believe an animal communicator would kill a spider.  I understood her point of view and wondered, does being an animal communicator make me less human?  What kind of pedestal am I on?iStock_dog on ped

Like you, I’m human.  I make less than perfect choices, I have bad days, and I screw up sometimes.  These traits let me know I AM human.  Otherwise I would have gone poof by now.

Back to the spider.  It wasn’t the animal communicator who killed the spider; it was the scared 4 year old that has a phobia of crawling and flying insects from a few terrifying and painful experiences.  She took over the drivers seat for a brief moment.  You should hear me scream when a flying insect gets trapped in my car or flies near my face.  When you only see the person on the pedestal, you miss all of who they are.   You also unconsciously make unrealistic expectations of yourself.

In our society we put many people on pedestals, especially those in the public eye.  The common belief is, if you’ve managed to become famous, you must have been nearly perfect to get there.  When in reality, the drive for fame is often (but not always) spurred by insecurities and a need to feel valued.

I also have clients who think I can do no wrong, never struggle and have this whole earth school thing mastered.

 

So not true.

When we hold others to high and unrealistic standards or place them in high esteem, it’s because our inner critic is one tough master.  Judgment of others (good or bad) is merely a reflection of the part of us who never feels we are good enough.  Judging that someone is more accomplished or better than you is as damaging to you as judging they are less than you because of some “error” they committed.  When you put another high on a pedestal you give away your power.  You are making someone else “better than” you.  And this is just not true.

We often assume someone who teaches is the ultimate master and never struggles.

Also not true.

I can teach about managing energy, tapping into intuition and mastering my emotions because I HAVE struggled with these.  It was the struggle that brought me solutions I can now share with others… and I still struggle sometimes.

Each level of mastery we reach presents us with new challenges to master. We become the toddler learning to walk again.

 

I’ve worked for years at judging others less…and I’ll be working on it until I leave this body.  As I learn to be kinder and gentler to myself, as I learn to accept my human “faults”, I’m kinder and gentler to others.

It’s easy to judge.  It’s more difficult to be vulnerable and show our imperfections.  But when we do show our humanness, we allow others to be vulnerable and human too.

Photo of woman climbing on the rock and man standing by her

My dear friends, life isn’t a race to the top of Mount Perfect.

 

We’re all climbing the face of the Mountain of Imperfect Life that reaches up into the heavens.

We keep climbing and hopefully, we help the people who are a little behind us on the mountain.  It doesn’t mean we don’t come to difficult places to traverse, or slip or even fall many feet down.  It doesn’t mean the people behind us don’t help us get further up.  It means we acknowledge how far we have come and we keep looking up to the next hand hold.  We appreciate the beauty surrounding us at each level.  And when we notice someone struggling, we give them a hand sharing what we have learned from our own climb.

You are exactly where you need to be on the mountain right now.

 

If you can help someone behind or above you, reach out.

 

And if you need help, reach out knowing there is no shame in needing a helping hand…you are perfectly human.

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