Naked Emperors

Lately, I've witnessed several situations where individuals devalue themselves while putting another on a pedestal.  Here are a few of them:
1) My friend, a former actress, is entering a new line of work and is terrified of contacting a key resource person because she is afraid that he will look down on her because she doesn't have a formal education.
2) A woman emailed me saying that, although she really wants to, she doesn't post comments on this blog because her ideas and writing aren't good enough.
3) I went to a dinner and a few of the guests were worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  A male guest, who was not wealthy, kept making self-deprecating comments, "It's such an honor to meet you, regular guys like me don't have the brains to do what you do."
When I was a dropout, single mother I put everyone else on a pedestal.  If I met a couple that appeared happy, I made mental pictures of the positively blissful relationship they had and noted how pathetic I was because my relationship had failed.  When I met a wealthy person, I imagined the trouble-free, power-filled life they led and told myself all the reasons they were better than me.
When I met my ex-husband, he had three Masters degrees and was a high level executive earning more in a month than I did in a year.  He invited me to attend a business conference with him.  The idea of being in a room full of educated, well-traveled and successful people terrified me.  I knew that I would stick out like a sloth in a pack of tigers.  Thankfully, I was born hardwired to run toward my fears.  I went to the conference, attended the seminars and the social events.  What I learned changed my view of people forever. 
I couldn't connect to the conference attendees on the level they connected with each other, I didn't speak the language.  However, I could connect to them as human beings.  I gave them my attention and listened to who they were, not what they did.  By the end of the conference at least fifty people knew me by name and they lit up whenever they saw me. It turned out that everyone had wounds, unsatisfied desires and fears.  Everyone.  Beneath the surface, people are just people.
Wealthy, famous, loved, beautiful, and successful people experience as much struggle, grief and insecurity as anyone else, often more.  No one is exempt from life.  Remember this when you find yourself on the brink of giving your power away.  We are far more alike than different and the thing that makes another better than you is your belief.  A side note: sometimes people attempt to equalize a situation by being loud, bragging and even belligerent. This is the same energy as groveling in unworthiness; it is just expressed differently. 
Be you, the real you--be human and see them as such. The rest will take care of itself.

The world is full of people imagining regalia adorned emperors.  In truth we're all naked.

Cynthia Occelli


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