Keeping Something At Arm’s Length Just Keeps It In Proximity - Grasshopper
The real chase begins with an embrace.
How often have we pooh-poohed something we've heard many times about ourselves and from different sources? We get into a dismissive or denial mode or we make the monumental, hubristic judgement that everybody else is wrong.
The only place that strategy works is in your head.
We keep peoples' observations at arm's length or further where it's impossible to embrace them. This distancing is a protection mechanism - it protects our illusion of perfection. It's very similar to the person who intellectually accepts the concept of death but believes it won't happen to them.
It's the ego on performance enhancing drugs. You know you're really hooked on keeping the distance between you and your shortcoming when you become an expert in spotting it in other people.
With the avalanche of evidence presented to us, you'd think that we would get the gift of awareness that this accusation applies to us. We won't even entertain it for ourselves because we are so focused on others missing our divinity that we miss seeing an obvious human frailty.
It's superiority and polarity wrapped in a neat little package - a deadly combo for self discovery.
The thinking goes something like this: "If they only knew what I know, they wouldn't have such absurd ideas about me." The thinking then falls into the "someday" category. "Someday they'll get it." That can be boiled down to "I'm right and they're wrong." That attitude will always present challengers to your model of having it all together.
Reminds me of a story . . . I was walking through the neighborhood and saw that a neighbor had his lawn sodded. It looked beautiful. A few days later, I noticed that one section of the sod didn't take and it dried up. I got to wondering if he was going to have it replaced. Then when I continued to witness this flaw over time, I went on an internal rant. "God, that looks awful. You'd think they would get that fixed. Don't they know that it just draws attention away from the nicely sodded area? Blah, blah blah." It never dawned on me, until it did, that my lawn looked like the set of "Sanford & Son" compared to theirs.
What keeps coming up? Chances are it's been around for a long time but we spent tons of energy holding it at arm's length in the futile hope that it will go away. If it remains in proximity, it will continue to affect you, until you embrace it.
We are all flawed. It's part of the condition of being human. When a flaw continues to dog us and gets in the way of living life more fully, that's the time to embrace it. Embracing your limiting shortcoming begins with acknowledging it. This is tantamount to recognizing that your s**t stinks too.
Once you acknowledge that which you've been denying, a space opens for growth. Think of it as "Spring Cleaning" for denial. Denial takes up a lot of space and when you embrace it, you provide an exit chute for it from the attic to the dumpster in the driveway. When the denial leaves, so does the attitude and the behavior that you claimed you didn't have.
It's not easy to recognize that we are one of the great unwashed, but it is an accurate assessment. There is an upside to this discovery. The massive time and energy that was devoted to denial is now free to be used to launch the new you.
All the best,
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