The real work starts when you fall off the pedestal.
The first meaning of the word pedestal is a base for a statue. How true. On it. I spent so much time containing. Holding myself to my standard of stagnant ideals and firm truths about myself.
I have always found God’s humanity to be more heart-wrenchingly poignant and guiding than the stories retold of pure divinity.
“My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”
I used to think, how do you forsake yourself? The mind-bending of god being god and god being forsaken was too much for me at age 8.
Now I know how it goes – forsaking yourself and being your savior. First. I need to say. I have fallen. Second. I need to forgive myself for that act. Being on my own pedestal. And third. I need to let go of the shame that comes from not being able to stay on it. That was a damn good tree-pose for a long time. It no longer serves me to hold that up as the only pose I’ll ever do.
I think of someone dear to me. An older teacher. Who has constantly been on a pedestal for the masses. How I’ve always seen him. How I’ve always loved him. How I’ve seen the exhaustion of holding it. The pedestal pose. How I’ve seen his struggle to come down. And the rage from the world at his humanity. The shame. The acceptance and the work he does himself. The longer you hold it. The harder it is.
There’s that famous Marianne Williamson quote about our greatest fear being our lightness not our darkness. But I think it’s actually that we are all capable of both. And that there will be both in our actions and in our hearts in our lives. How do we reconcile ourselves with our duality? How do we move forward heart broken that we are capable of both offering a caress and a slap? Practicing kindness is just that – a practice. Sometimes we do other. Sometimes we fall off our path. So we can work through the brush and the brambles. The muck and the madness. To find our way back. Walking more humbly. With more forgiveness. To ourselves.
You remind me where home is. *exhale*. Gratitude for you.