Do you often feel like other people know more than you do? Like you are on one level and other people are above you somehow? I used to feel that way quite often. I am realizing more and more when it shows up in my life now in many different ways. For example, when I read books- I used to always take the author’s viewpoint as absolute truth. I thought that they must know more than me to be able to write a book on the subject. Now, I am realizing that we all have our own versions of “truth”- there is no absolute. We can share with each other the ways that we each individually see the world, but we don’t always have to be in agreement to both be “right”. So now, when I pick up a book, I ingest the information by weighing it against my own reality. I sit with an idea and see how it feels in my body, and then decide if it’s right for me or not. Sometimes, it isn’t clear right away, so I will sit with it until I know more. It doesn’t mean that I can’t finish the book, or appreciate the material, if it is not “true” for me. Sometimes I will walk away if the material really doesn’t feel right, other times I can look at it and see the value of the information even if it doesn’t necessarily all apply to me.
The same is true in our real life friendships and relationships. We come together as different people with vastly different knowledge and experiences. I have said before that I sometimes see my friends and I as our own separate connect-four games. (Hopefully you remember those from when you were a kid!) On my game board, I may have the first column filled to the top, but the second and third columns only have one or two chips in them, and maybe the next one is completely empty. One of my friends may have only one chip in the first column, a full second column, and two or three chips in the next. And so on, down the line. So we all show up with different “specialties”, and we can learn from and support each other so well because we know about different things. Just because someone shows up and is at a really expert level in a certain subject doesn’t mean that they are “above” you- because they have other areas in their life where they have a lot to learn and you may be an expert there.
The bottom line is that it’s never good to sell yourself short. All interpersonal connections are happening for a reason- so the people around you are learning from you just as much as you are learning from them. Beyond that, it is not necessary to put anyone up on a pedestal, and certainly not to believe that every word they utter is complete and absolute truth. We are all human, we all have flaws, we all get to show up in really messy and unpleasant ways sometimes. Be open to whatever they have to teach you, but trust your own truth along the way.
Mantra of the day: