The following entry is written based on my personal experiences. While I do not practice one particular religion, I acknowledge that all forms of religion have different philosophies with many common traits. The most common trait that sometimes gets distorted is the message of Love. That is what I am going to be talking about. Please do not make any assumptions after reading this. Think, educate, research and read for yourself. May this guide or influence you into beginning a journey of understanding. May you continue to learn more about yourself, and your purpose. Namaste.
Day to day, we humans have this idealism where we put others, and ourselves on a pedestal. You’re probably thinking… “What the hell does that mean?!” Well, to put someone on a pedestal, we put them in a place that is not real. To place someone on a pedestal means to have a high and false expectation of someone. We place someone in a fictional reality on this high pedestal of expectations and then get frustrated when they fail to meet our expectations. The earliest example of this is perhaps in our Mothers and Fathers. At a young age, we naturally look up to them, and have this image in our head that they are superheroes and that they are perfect and divine and don’t make mistakes. This may be more prominent in some people’s parental relationships than others, but overall we have in some way this positive image of our parents. They are our first teachers, our first friends; they are our role models after all. And then slowly over time, as we grow, and come to our own understandings, we come to a realization that they are not as high and mighty as we once assumed they were. When they fail to meet our expectations, for example, they disagree with us going out too late, or have opposing viewpoints on certain topics; they begin to fall off of our pedestal. When this happens, we freak out. We do not understand why they act in this way. We have this assumption that they knew and understood us so well, and now it feels like they have no idea who we are. How could these perfect beings not live up to our expectations? It just doesn’t make sense! …Actually it does, we just need to step back and see the bigger picture. In our teen years, we make this switch from having high expectations to having extremely low assumptions and come to think that our parents no longer know anything relevant to our lives. When we do this we throw them off the pedestal and leave them on the floor because they didn’t live up to what WE expected. This is not the correct thing to do either. When we throw someone off the pedestal, we are just getting mad at ourselves. We begin to feel like they have betrayed us, or that they have done something wrong. In their realities, they were just doing something they always do and cannot see the wrong in it, or perhaps they made a mistake. But even then, this is no reason to get mad or angry and throw them off the pedestal. They are probably wondering what is wrong with you, and want to know what is going on in your head, yet we push them away through this act of removing them off the pedestal in a harsh means.
So what is so bad about doing this? How can we change this way of thinking? The sad part about having this mentality is that we can go our whole lives thinking the world is against us, and believing everyone is out to do us wrong. This is utterly false. The world is a beautiful place, but it all depends on your mentality. To remove someone from their pedestal is to remove ALL EXPECTATIONS from someone. We don’t want to throw them on the floor, because the act of doing so is also equally limiting and equally an expectation. When we expect someone to do bad, or to be opposed to our ways of thinking, most of the time they will live up to that standard. Expectations high or low are the real enemy. That is because as soon as we have an expectation, we create a limitation. Either on ourselves or on others, and we are not here to limit. Our only limitations are the limitations we perceive and set on ourselves. We are here to be radiant and be flowing with life, and to be abundant. We are here to love. We are here to be happy. So, when we place someone on the floor, we set their limit, and they can go no higher from where we limit them as…in our reality. Now, someone who is present and knows themselves and their total worth will not be moved by this. But the average person really is not truly present, does not truly know themselves or their worth. So the average person is easily affected by this act of low expectations. The assumption that someone will never change and that someone will always be their worst is a very harmful assumption. You not only limit yourself by creating such an assumption, but you also can limit that person if they are not yet at the point where they feel like they totally know themselves. An individual, who is not yet at the point in life where they are unaffected by outward remarks, can have a real hard time with this. We begin to force our realities on those of which we throw on the floor, and if they choose to believe it, it then comes true in not only our realities, but theirs as well. The same thing happens when we place someone high on a pedestal; they can do no wrong, they can make no mistakes. However, we are humans and we make mistakes. That is how we evolve, and that is how we learn. Without mistakes, there is no room for improvement. We cannot improve something if we believe it to be perfect. Likewise, we cannot become the empowered and divinely perfect selves we are meant to be if we believe we are totally imperfect. The key is always balance. So, the first step in changing this way of thinking is to remove someone gently from the pedestal in which you placed them on. Release those heavily attached expectations. And the very moment you do that, you allow that person the freedom to be their highest potential. You allow that person to stand on their own two feet and meet you as an equal, which is what they truly are. We are all equal. They are not higher or lower than you, nor are you higher or lower than them. If you have heavily attached expectations of yourself, release them, and allow yourself to be your highest potential. When you change the way that you have thought for so long, you allow yourself to live in reality, true reality. What is true reality? True reality is the present moment. Not the future to come, not what has happened to you before, but this Moment…right now. This is all that matters, this is true reality. When we begin to live in true, present reality and see things for all that they are, we begin to truly change on a mental, emotional and spiritual level. This change, realization and even epiphany has a huge impact on our lives. The true realization though, is bringing awareness of when you are placing these expectations or limitations on someone or yourself. This awareness of yourself and the moments when your egoic need for control kicks in will happen slowly, maybe once or twice a day you will experience a time when you are aware of where your ego was poking out. This happens more frequently, until it becomes all day every day that you notice the parts of yourself that are not living to your highest potential. Slowly, you begin to cease placing those expectations at all. You then begin to truly be able to live moment to moment, experiencing what is happening as opposed to what has happened or what is about to happen. That is total presence. This is living in the moment. This is alignment with your highest potential.
So now, how is it we actually live out the realization of not placing expectations on someone or something? How do we make this connection that what we are doing is not reality? It starts with the daily calming of the mind. When the mind is calm, you are able to cultivate your thoughts and feelings in a more clear and concise way. You are able to raise your own awareness and place that awareness on what you are doing, and how you are acting. So the first step is mindfulness. When you are mindful, you are able to know what it is you want, and you are able to begin to see what your reality is, truly, for the first time. Meditation helps with that, so does Yoga, but to start you just simply need to breathe. When you breathe deeply and mindfully, focusing on just your breath, you automatically meditate and find the present moment: True Reality. Breath is presence. When you are beginning to become aware of your habits and expectations, the best thing you can do is to begin to breathe. In Hindu culture, the word Prana means both breath and life force. They are one in the same. When you breathe you become alive and aware. Once you have become aware of your breath and gained a few moments of presence in your life, you will slowly begin to become aware of the expectations you put on others and yourself. The next step after mindfulness is to recognize the self. This comes alongside mindfulness, but in order to know the Self and to recognize yourself, you must be mindful. So what does it mean to know yourself? To know oneself is our sole purpose here. That is it. Doesn’t life seem so much simpler when we put it like that? Many of us don’t believe this, and thus have no sense of self. When we have no sense of self, we tend to place our sense of self in other people, and place our soul in our relationships. We also commonly place our definition of self in the future or the past. Yet, if we have no sense of self within our relationships, or anywhere else but the present, how can we expect to grow and thrive and have more positivity within our life? We need to create our own sense of self in order to feel fulfilled in any area of our lives. Finding self is the ultimate goal isn’t it? How do we find self? We first need to understand why we are here and what we want. What are your interests? What are your goals? What do you wake up excited to do? If it makes it easier, I encourage you to write down your interests, likes, wants and goals. Begin to relearn who you are, and what you are here for. Those interests, and goals, are your purpose. Having a sense of purpose helps us understand who we are. How can we expect to understand who we are if we feel unsure of our purpose? It just does not happen. So once we begin to know and feel our purpose, and know our needs and wants. What comes next? The next step is to feel fulfilled in all that you do, to be happy for just being you. Gratitude is a key part of understanding and finding self. Gratitude is total acceptance and appreciation for all that is. When we accept and feel grateful for all that we are, all that has happened to us and all that will happen; we begin the process of removing expectations. This is such a key component in this process, because when we are able to accept our circumstances, we take responsibility for ourselves. When we are responsible for our actions and thoughts, we truly begin to know ourselves; we take responsibility and begin to see the areas in we are not content with. When we are able to accept those areas, we gain a higher perspective and this awareness allows for change. Change allows for the removal of expectations through realizations. The removal of expectations allows us to live a more fulfilled life, and allows us to truly know who we are. We see reality for what it is… this moment that we created. Reality is a complete reflection of our perception. We all coexist in each other’s realities but our own reality is completely different than our neighbours. When we become aware of our reality, and aware of the level of control we truly have, we gain a profound understanding of ourselves and of life as well. We begin to know our purpose, feel more alive and happy, and become more aware of our surroundings. We no longer judge our current circumstances and reality based on our past. We no longer live our days and place our sense of self in the future. We become the now. This glorious phrase has been told to us by many enlightened prophets, and will continue to be told until everyone truly understands what it means. To live in the now, is to remove all limitations and expectations of our reality. If we are not present in our lives, we cannot truly know ourselves. If we are not present, we cannot claim back conscious control over our lives and take the necessary steps to change it. The paradox is that we are in total control, but we are not in total control. The meaning of total control is not to try and take on the world by ourselves. What I mean by control is the understanding that this higher power, God or The Creator is in total control of the flow of the Universe. We are co-creators of our realities. This is the “Secret” talked about in the famous book and many philosophers and great minds talked about over many millennia. We manifest our reality, but the Universe is totally in control. When I say: “We are in control of our reality”, it means to understand that we are not in control, we provide the direction, while the Universe or God, provides the power. We steer the ship but we are not in control of the wind. We just harness it, follow the flow, and trust that it will always be there to take us where we need to be. We learn how to navigate, learn the rules of the sea, and know our vessel inside and out. We set the destination, and we know we will be taken there. Now for most of us, we do not do this consciously, it is a subconscious means of direction, but the trick is to make it conscious. We all have that power. We are divine, after all. We are made in the image of the creator, we are energy. We are consciousness. We have the free will to think, and do anything we choose, which means that we have the freewill to believe we are not in control of our environment, and that the world is a horrible place. But this also means we have the free will to make it a beautiful place, to see that it is a beautiful place, and affirm and create the beautiful place we so desperately want. This all begins with removing limitations on others and ourselves. Wayne Dyer once said, “I am realistic, I expect miracles.” I truly believe that when we remove limitations, begin to believe and have the courage to admit that we are responsible for our environment and our state of mind, we will truly see miracles. We will truly know ourselves and we will truly be present. That is the goal of life after all isn’t it? If you died tomorrow would you feel like you knew yourself well enough? Would you feel like you lived today with purpose? Would you feel content with your current outlooks and mentalities? If not, then change them. You can do it, and it doesn’t happen overnight. This is a constant battle, a constant game… but the more you want to change it, the more you want to co-create and co-exist in this beautiful world, the easier it gets. You are in control. You are limitless, so don’t set limits on yourself or others. But don’t take my word for it, search within. Find the truth yourself. I am on this journey now, and it is far from over, but boy, has my life taken a turn since coming to this realization.
Trust yourself, know yourself, be yourself, accept yourself, and listen to yourself. Only you know what is right for you, and only you can truly know yourself. Do not place your happiness or sense of self in others, for you will only be disappointed. Live out your message, and be true to who you are. This is all that we are meant to do. Our sole purpose is to live, love and learn. If you are to take anything out of this post, it would be just that. Live your life, love your life, and learn about yourself. Do not worry about others, and do not place unrealistic expectations and limitations on others, place all your trust and all your beliefs and all your expectations, in yourself. You are limitless. Go find out what that truly means, and discover yourself. That is how you remove the mentality of putting others and yourself on a pedestal.