Do you remember the time you looked at someone and you thought they were perfect in every way you could imagine? Or the opposite – that they are everything you hate in one?
Yes, it’s true that these are extremes and kids are mainly the ones that see others that way, but the reality is that we still do. One single fight with the other half and it is as if it’s all going nowhere. They don’t agree with us so it means they don’t understand us and we can’t have anything in common.
Our little gods
I call it “the little gods” – it’s the ones we make up for ourselves. It is when we see, but not the real thing, rather one that is exaggerated or skewed.
Have you ever felt misunderstood? Where in a difficult situation, you just spilled hate that you didn’t mean and you wished your words were wise and accurately described what was happening inside you? And what followed was the other person arguing about those words and using them against you, and you know there’s nothing you can do because you said them, they are on the surface now. But those words were not what you meant. The communication is now stained, and it’s even harder to explain.
There’s no fix for that, because that’s just how communication works. In fact it’s how we perceive the world, it is all stored in our mind, skewed by emotions, hormones, lack of sleep, experiences and whatnot. But there is a simple way that could change that.
If we were more aware, of ourselves – previous mistakes we made, the fact that things are inaccurate and the remote possibility that the others around us might not be as perfect as we see them or as bad as we imagine. It’s awareness – taking that extra breath before speaking and instead listening for a second longer. Observing and assimilating the beauty of this reality – things have little quirks, people do and that adds extra detail to the texture of life. It’s not all glass, shiny and the way we want it to be or wish it wasn’t.
Our “little gods” are the things we push onto others for them to be in our own eyes. But awareness allows us to be more forgiving and to recognise that it’s not just about making a compromise with the other one, in fact there’s awe in this whole mechanism of perception. It challenges us to come back down to Earth, to humble ourselves and the expectations we have, and to be grateful.