Often when we fall in love with someone or we make a new friend, we can see that person in a glowing light. Their good qualities appear to dominate the foreground of our perception. And their negative qualities? They just don’t seem to have any. This temporary state is commonly known as putting someone on a pedestal. Often we put spiritual leaders and our gurus on pedestals. We have all done this to someone at one time or another, and as long as we remember that no one is actually “perfect,” the pedestal phase of a relationship can be enjoyed for what it is—a phase. It’s when we actually believe our own projection that troubles arise.
Everyone one of us has problems, flaws, and blind spots. When we entertain the illusion that someone is perfect, we don’t allow them room to be human, so when they make an error in judgement or act in contradiction to our idea of perfection, as the surely will, we become disillusioned. We may get angry or distance ourselves in response. In the end, they are not to blame for the fact that we idealised them. Granted, they may have enjoyed seeing themselves as perfect through our eyes, but we are the ones who chose to believe an illusion. Once we have been through this process a few times, we learn that no one is perfect. We are all a combination of divine and human qualities and we all struggle. When we treat the people we love with this awareness, we actually allow for a much greater intimacy than when we held them aloft on this pedestal . The moment we see through our idealised projection is the moment we begin to see our loved one as he or she truly is.
We cannot truly connect with a person when we idealise them. In life, there are no pedestals—we are all walking on the same ground together. When we realise this, we can own our own humanity. This is the key to balance and wholeness within ourselves and our relationships.
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Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING