Inquiry: Other People’s Stories About Me

 

I notice an uneasiness when people look up to me, similar to having people look down at me (although the latter is a little less stressful since I then don’t have anything to live up to!). I also notice an aversion to people having stories about me in general. It somehow feels like too much of a burden, too much to deal with. So…

He shouldn’t look up to me.

  1. Yes (That seems true. And I live, to some extent, as if it is true.)
  2. No (Cannot know that is absolutely true. Also cannot know what is the best for my – and his – path.)
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?

    I filter and regulate what and how much comes out, to regulate his impression of me. I hide in various ways, and play games with myself and him. I try to play down my own insights, clarity, power, skills and so on. I also allow it through just enough for him to see it.

    There is a frustration here in having gifts that are not shared as freely as what is possible. Of holding back.

    And there is a frustration in now knowing what his story is, and how to manipulate it effectively. There is a constant watching out for signs, for feedback, to allow me to manipulate his impressions more effectively and precisely. And a constant worry if it is working or not, and what type of strategy to use.

    I avoid being too skilled in anything. At the point where I glimpse how it is to have mastery, I tend to go on to something else. I choose to not follow my passions, to not allow my skills to mature and continue to develop. At the same time, there is frustration about not allowing my skills to continue to mature and refine.

    It becomes a balance between mediocricy and admiration, trying to avoid both. It is a struggle between the two. It is a loosing battle. I try to control how others see my, which I ultimately cannot do. And there is a deepening frustration over not continuing to explore and develop my skills and talents in many areas. There is a growing dissatisfaction over unlived life, potentials and possibilities.

    As long as I try to control the impressions of others, I cannot win. Partly because I cannot control the impressions and stories of others. And partly because when I do this by holding myself back, either in the situation or through not developing my skills, there is a mounting frustration and dissatisfaction.

    There is also a fear of falling down. Fear of doing something that does not match his story about me. And a wanting to do something that does not match his story. And the ambivalence between the two, and the shifting between the two.

    There is a sense of having to live up to somebody else’s story about me. I feel trapped by his story about me. And I also don’t know exactly what it is, and how to live up to it – or even how to deflate or puncture it.

    So there is a lot coming out of this simple belief:

    • Wanting to live up to his story of me. To reinforce it.
    • Fear of his story of me changing, deflating.
    • Wanting to deflate his story.
    • Wanting him to have no story about me.
    • Feeling trapped by his story about me.
    • Wanting to manipulate his story about me.
    • Not knowing exactly what his story of me is, so not knowing how to effectively manipulate it.
    • Watching for signs of what his story is, and how effective my manipulation is (in either reinforcing or deflating it).
    • Not showing my skills, insights, clarity, wisdom, power clearly in our interactions. Holding back in the situation.
    • Not continue developing my skills and talents in different areas, for fear of other’s looking up to me and its consequences.
    • Frustration and dissatisfaction over not developing these gifts, and over not feeling free to share them with others.

    Why shouldn’t he look up to me?

    I get uncomfortable with it. See that it is just his story about me, and has nothign to do with me. Yet, do not want that story placed on me. People start to behave differently to me. There is a sense of separation if they have a story about me which makes them look up (or down) at me.

    What is the worst that can happen if I don’t believe that thought?

    I would be OK with him looking up to me. And I would not want to control his perception and story of me. I may get arrogant, inflated. And he may not find his own clarity, skills, wisdom, power.

  4. Who or what would I be without the thought?

    Able to allow him to look up to me. Be OK with him looking up to me. Clear that it is his story, and has nothing to do with me. He is just reflecting himself in me. Able to see the beauty in that.

    I am free from his story. And I am free from needing to control his perceptions and stories about me (which I cannot anyway).

  5. (a) He should look up to me.

    Yes, because he does. It is what is happening.

    Also, because it allows him to reflect himself in me. He can familiarize himself with certain qualities through first seeing them in me, then in himself. It is a beautiful process, and it is a wonderful gift to someone else to allow them to use me as a mirror. This mirroring is a generosity built into our lives.

    (b) I should look up to me.

    Yes, admire the strenght, clarity, wisdom etc. that is there. Allow them their life.

    (c) I should not look up to me.

    No, because it is just a story.

    (d) I should look up to him.

    Yes, for him being free to allow me as his mirror. For beeing free to see himself in me.

    (e) I should not look up to him.

    Yes, I should not make his stories so important to me. They belong to his process, not mine. Making his stories so important to me is what brings up this stress for me.

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