I have a bad habit of putting the people I love most in life on what I have come to call, the God Pedestal. Meaning that throughout my life, I have unintentionally placed impossible expectations on the shoulders of close loved ones, expecting them to fulfil my own sense of purpose and happiness.
It’s definitely not something I’m always consciously aware of or I am even intentional of initiating. I just tend to cling on real tight to family and friends when I know I’ve got something good going with them. Causing myself to project my biased ideals and standards on to them, when it was never their responsibility in the first place to uphold. Yes, they may be a close family member, partner or friend, but I should never place that heavy amount of responsibility on another imperfect human being, when they have their own confusing life to figure out.
The first moment I realised this was when I was 20 years old, where I had woken up from the academic coma that was my Bachelor of Music degree and I realised as I started my first year out of school, that my parents are just as flawed as I am. Because they were the ones who brought me into this world, I had immediately assumed they had it all figured out already. When in reality they’re still uncovering the mystery of living, and they’re own purpose as well. Which meant that it was ridiculous for me to assume that they would have the time to figure out my life as well, while I sat back and waited for them make sense of it all, before I threw myself back into it later on.
So now I am trying to recognise aspects of this trait when I begin to rely solely on those closest to me for complete enjoyment and fulfilment of my life, because that’s not how I want my relationships to function.
I want my relationships with close family and friends to have an even as possible amount of give and take to them, because I think that each party in a relationship deserves that. We all deserve the right to receive love and care from our close social network, just as much as we also uphold the responsibilities of caring for them in ways they require, depending on the context of each relationship.
In the midst of my injury recovery period, I have observed within myself some of the present and near possible capabilities I have as an adult, good and bad. Because when it comes to injury recovery, there’s a lot of sitting around resting my hand on a cushion getting bored of the same old of watching things, reading things, listening to things, and knitting things (One handed, on a loom just to clear that up. Post for another day!).
So it means that there are a few times in my days where I’m forced to sit with my thoughts, feelings and memories, most of the time trying to make sense of them by writing in my personal journal or in my public journal here in this blog.
This thought in particular is the observation of a flaw in my personality, and that if I really let myself be the most obnoxious version of myself, then I could ruin all of my relationships and successfully isolate myself from society.
Which I really, really, really don’t wanna do.
I think that if I relinquished all of my self-control and had absolutely no social awareness of those around me, I could just drain my family and friends of possibly all their love and care for me. If I had no care for their health and well-being, I could put obscene amounts of pressure on them to fulfil all of my emotional requirements and need for purpose. I could rely far too heavily on them for needs they were never required to fulfil, and worst of all, I could never experience the joy of loving or caring for those I love when they need it most.
I could be a very lonely, bitter and lost human being.
I call it the God Pedestal because in a sense it’s the kind of impossible expectations no single human can personally uphold for another person alone. It’s the kind of responsibility I can only imagine God could take on, because from my own personal beliefs as a Christian, I believe that as my all powerful and mighty God He is more than capable to bear the brunt of my burdens. Which I also believe every human deserves the comfort and security of, especially when they feel alone or too much of a burden to those around them. Even if it is laced in last ditch efforts of emergency prayers of comfort, hope, emotional security and grounding, when this kind of belief system is one rarely set as a reliable resource.
It’s those moments alone with a racing mind at night and a heavy heart in the morning, that I can feel out of my depth with what I am trying to achieve in my life. So to then transfer all of my most personal fears and standards on to another imperfect human being to perfectly uphold is incredibly irresponsible. To expect their position in my life to solely fulfil my own skewed ideals of “perfect life standards”, is something I want to eradicate from my perception of functional and healthy relationships.
I want my relationships filled with growth and challenges, that bring us closer together in the journey of it all. So that as we watch each other confront and tackle challenges, we then learn to accept each other for the flawed people we are. Growing in the experiences we accumulate together both internally and externally.
I think that much more of life can be experienced and enjoyed to an even richer and valuable extent, if I do it with my social support network. And in order for this to occur, I need to make sure I am creating sustainable relationships that encourage personal growth collectively, not just individually.