I have a habit of building someone up in my mind to the point of dehumanisation. They are no longer a human being capable of faults and mistakes. They become a magical creature that has captivated my attention. I simply aspire to those who seem to have a strong sense of identity, passion and kindness. I consider all these aspects and I start sawing and sanding and I create a tall and obnoxious pedestal.
Sometimes I don’t even realise I am doing it, I don’t even realise that I am placing impossible expectations on someone. I believe in having dreams and working hard to accomplish them. I like standing behind someone, cheering them on and hoping for all the best. It makes me feel useful and it inspires me.
We fall short. It’s impossible to measure up to these naïve hopes we place on others and those placed on us. But we do it anyway, we believe someone will love us the way we love him or her. We believe someone will treat us the way we treat him or her. We believe someone places a certain value on us, the way we value him or her. We believe that someone is incapable of malice and unkind words and we believe in someone’s dreams with them, hoping they would do the same for us.
And it hurts when what we believe is in reality, untrue.
There is a certain spirit crushing realisation that comes with a pedestal falling over. The loud crash to the floor, a defeated sigh of the wood that seemed to see this coming and an empty and quiet room.
I end up standing alone, very disappointed and very de-motivated
It is very unsettling once we strip away our beliefs of who someone is and come face-to-face with who they really are. I wish it were simple enough to acknowledge that we all make mistakes. But sometimes, these actions are not mistakes, but choices. And sometimes, these actions are not choices, but characteristics. How do we know whether to forgive or whether to come to terms with the fact that this isn’t the person we have come to care for and withdraw from the situation?
After we have reached a resolution about whether or not this person should continue to participate in our lives comes another hard part. We must be honest and express what we truly think, and how hurt and affected we feel. This kind of conflict demands a change in our behaviour; it also results in feelings of mistrust and insecurity. However, not all endings are damaging and not all beginnings are hard. Understanding that our expectations often get the better of us is a start, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold anyone to a high regard, it just means we shouldn’t be so critical of others. Sometimes, we aren’t meant to be in each others lives, and by letting each other down we are also letting each other know that we do not work together. And that is okay too.
At the end of the day, we don’t all have the colours in us that compliment the colours in someone else. Understanding that losing friendships and relationships is normal early on in life will benefit us greatly. Just knowing that being treated badly is a good enough reason to walk away from someone means you understand your value. Accepting that we all fall on hard times is completely different to knowing when something isn’t right.
Find those who can illuminate your colours, make them brighter and compliment their tones. Never hide your shades of blues and greys; even our dark colours should be embraced. Pedestals fall, but it doesn’t mean we can’t just pick them up again and adjust the height.