I hope you know that. I hope you believe that down past your flesh and bones, into your heart. Your soul.
Yes, you are all of those things.
But, well…so is everyone else.
You are no more beautiful, amazing, brilliant, powerful or loveable than anyone else.
For some people, this is an obvious distinction; they are not at all surprised, they know we are all as perfect as can be, they don’t consider themselves more perfect than anyone else, as if that were even a possibility. The equality is apparent to them.
But for others of us, this distinction has not been so easy to swallow or even to acknowledge. Perhaps there was something in the way we were brought up that convinced us we were more of these things than others, perhaps someone always told us we were better, perhaps we secretly felt we were smarter or more deserving of praise or on a different level. Perhaps we kept this little secret to ourselves, but it informed every thought we had, every move we made, every decision we acted upon.
I know this delusion well; I suffered from it for years.
Yes, I was told how much better I was than everyone else. I believed it. (I’ve also been on the other side of the self-esteem continuum — both delusions suck.) I was told I was smarter, more deserving of good things, of a higher quality than the ‘average” person.
Even now…especially now…this is very hard for me to acknowledge and recognize.
Believing these things about myself as I did, it became harder and harder to understand why certain things happened the way they did.
Why did someone else attain something I’d so wanted for myself, when I was still struggling?
Why were they picked when I wasn’t?
Why was someone who supposedly loved me so mean to me, so critical — wasn’t I so much better than that?
Feeling superior was, I now see, an addiction. An addiction to always being better, to always being right, to being perfect, to knowing more answers than anyone else. And as with other addictions, nothing was going to change or get better until and unless I faced it head-on and figured out what was driving me to crave what I was craving.
In the beginning of facing the truth of this addiction head on, chances are your entire world will be turned upside down. Mine was. This is the stuff that depression and overwhelm and all those good things are made of. But, well, there is a way out on the other end. And on that other end is more strength and light than you’d had before.
Yes, I was and am special. Unbelievably, unimaginably special. But I am no more or less special than you. I am no more or less special than anyone else.
Despite what my grandmother told me.
* * *
This post was inspired by this quote from Eckhard Tolle’s “A New Earth” and by Paul Gilmartin:
If you are content with being nobody in particular, content not to stand out, you align yourself with the power of the universe. What looks like weakness to the ego is in fact the only true strength. This spiritual truth is diametrically opposed to the values of our contemporary culture and the way it conditions people to behave.
* * *