No Pedestals

A great rule of thumb for relationships of all kinds is “no pedestals.” Venus is in retrograde and many relationships are undergoing transformation. Some are coming together. Some are coming apart. Others are reuniting. If yours is undergoing reconstruction and you have a pedestal in place, why not smash it now?

The pedestal is often seen as the romantic ideal for love. If someone loves you so much that he worships you, adores you, and puts you above all others, that feels pretty special. Some of us would love to feel that cherished.

Let’s pause and think about that for a moment. If you are on a pedestal, one of you is above the other. That’s not equal. When someone is above you, she has no option but to look down on you! That’s not healthy. It’s not an equitable distribution of power, and it’s not likely to end in a mutually satisfying relationship. Why?

Reciprocity is one if the crucial elements of a healthy relationship. There can’t really be any sense of connection if we don’t demonstrate caring for our partner and don’t receive the same. When giving or receiving is a one way proposition, or grossly unequal, love dies because it’s hard to respect someone who acts like a doormat or let’s us treat him like a doormat. It’s that whole thing of “if he looks like a doormat, talks like a doormat, and walks like a doormat, he must be a doormat.” If your partner thinks you’re a doormat, her view of you and her feelings for you will reflect that.

Being the one on the pedestal isn’t much better for most of us. Most of us know that we are flawed creatures. We’d rather be loved in spite of our flaws than to pretend that we’re perfect little princesses. That just feels fake. It feels like we’re going to be found out. And when we are, we will lose all that adoration.

So, the no pedestal rule is great for both sides.

A “no pedestals” relationship recognizes that both parties are valuable, beautiful, and flawed. Both deserve respect and love. Both give and receive love. Each partner wants to be in the relationship and loves themselves as they love their partner. When this is the case, there is a greater chance for long term success because this relationship benefits both parties. Both parties feel invested, feel valued, have an interest in sustaining the connection, and feel appreciated.

If you are putting others on a pedestal, this is a signal that you need to boost your own self worth. There are two great ways to do this. First, practice Loving Kindness. This will help you to neutralize negative self-beliefs and encourage love to flow to all people.

Next, practice being Nonjudgmental. The problem is not that we are not beautiful, smart, rich, talented, or athletic enough. The problem with low self-esteem is that when we see ourselves, we see flaws. We all have flaws, it’s true, but when you are nonjudgmental, they are just facts of life, not soul stealing daggers that are always pointed at our backs. The more nonjudgmental you are, the less everything matters.

If you are on a pedestal, you probably already know that it’s lonely at the top! There is no room for anyone else up there. The standards that keep you there are usually really high, so there is a lot of pressure to maintain an illusion. If you want to get down, practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is about being present in this moment. If you don’t want to spend an hour on your beauty routine today, don’t. Go au naturale and be unapologetic about it. When you make a mistake, own it. If you’re feeling less than bubbly one day, it’s okay. As Bernard Baruch said, “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” When both parties in a relationship are on equal footing, you have a shot at a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship.

 

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