Some people are better from a distance. Up close, you can see that the shine is really just glitter-covered poop.
This was a quote I recently tweeted because I was thinking about the different experiences I have had of admiring someone from a distance and wanting to be in a relationship with them – whether as a friend or lover – and then going for it, only to discover that, behind the scenes, they were really unpleasant to be around. When I got to know them better, I wish that I hadn’t ever crossed that space between us to get to know them better. I wanted to go back to admiring them from a distance – where I could see their shine without smelling their bullshit.
Sometimes a person’s real truth is not revealed to you until you’ve spent some time getting to know them. If they have practiced the art of manipulation as a way of “making” people like them, they will be an expert in showing you what you want to see so you will like them.
How do I know this? Because that used to be my tactic. My approach was, “I will judge that you are judging me and based on what I am sensing in you, I will become that person I sense you need me to be.” It was very manipulative. It was also a deeply ingrained survival mechanism. If I secured your affection, that would ensure my continued existence. As a child, it made perfect sense. As an adult, it’s absolutely destructive.
As a Sensitive child, I had no clue what was mine and what was everyone else’s because I experienced everything within me. When I learned to understand my own boundaries and got clear on my own “yeses” and “nos,” and then stopped trying to control everything so that I would be “liked” (because, for me, liked = safe), I began to see that no one knew me. No one. Mostly because *I* was completely clueless about who I was.
Because I didn’t know me, my character judgment of others was sorely off the mark. You cannot sense truth in another if you are not living from truth yourself. And because I was using manipulative measures to “get” people to like me, I was beginning on such a tenuous foundation, it is no wonder I found myself wading through not-so-sparkly shit all the time.
There are some who would say, “Hey! Manipulative is a harsh word!” or they would say I was doing nothing wrong by wanting people to like me and judging who they would like and then trying to be that person. But, the thing is, any time I change myself to be who I judge another wants me to be, I am losing my essence.
Now, there is great power in being a chameleon – which is what I call the ability to morph into another to match the one in front of you. This ability makes it possible for you to match anyone, which can create a foundation of ease and comfort. But, the only time this is a gift that is devoid of manipulation and works in your favor is if you are coming from a space of true self-knowing and self-love and if there is a space that you can come back to that you truly know: YOU.
The good news is, over the course of my journey with the Phoenix, as I have awakened to myself and embraced my gifts, I have come to discover that my driving need to “make” people like me has pretty much vanished. I’ve also discovered that my first instincts about a person generally pan out to be true. Additionally, my relationships are now deliciously beautiful and a space where the original shine that I saw from a distance is still a true shine. I am happier because I am in relationship with me first and then I am attracting those to me who honor my uniqueness.
My invitation to you is this, if you are finding yourself wading through a surprisingly stinky mess of glitter-covered crap in your relationships, it’s time to take a look at yourself and identify the commitment from which you are creating your relationships. Are you seeking to “make” people like you? Or are you honoring yourself by welcoming in those who see and love you as you really are right now?