One of the toughest things you’ll face is letting go of one of your heroes.

 

In any life, we are met with people, places and events which shape us. We learn from them. We make value judgements about them. We are impacted in some way – either negatively or positively. From there we internalise a piece of that person, place or event which then unconsciously dictates our behaviour from then on. It can be parents, friends, peers, teachers, movies, books, games… anything which impacts us in some way and we then make it mean something about us or about the world.

Sometimes we put them in the ‘bad person’ box, and sometimes we put them on a pedestal and label them “hero”.

Who do you have in your “hero” box? Do they still deserve to be there?

It’s a tough gig being on someone’s pedestal. Much is expected and disappointment is only ever a breath away… one poor choice, one bad decision and they come crashing down off that pedestal due to their normal and natural human imperfections.

If they were our hero, someone we looked to as perfection, we can feel betrayed, cheated or let down by them. We can find ourselves disillusioned and disappointed in the world because of this. But how realistic are we being when we put someone into our “hero” box?

Who are your heroes? What do they stand for? What is your criteria for allocating hero status and does it still hold true to who you are today?

The main lesson I’ve learned is that taking someone off their  pedestal and taking off the superhero cape doesn’t mean the love diminishes. In fact it can make it stronger as you learn to truly love the real person for who they are – not the fantasy you’ve injected them into.

When you have someone held up as a hero, you don’t allow them to be themselves. You lock them into your ideal of how you think they should be, so the love is conditional on them staying in that box. When you take them off the pedestal, you allow yourself to embrace that person in a higher love – one that is unconditional of whether they have their superhero days or their messy days – the love remains the same.

Taking stock of my own heroes and the pedestals I had them on has been an enlightening process. Discovering that some of the criteria I held my heroes to was faulty was humbling. Realising how I had held everyone, myself included, to ransom over my flawed ‘ideals’ was devastating. Mourning the loss of my heroes was heart-breaking. But in allowing my heart to break, the pain can escape and the healing of love can get in and make my heart bigger. And that was what I discovered by giving up my heroes. It was a most liberating process which allowed me to mature, to come to deeper understanding of myself, how I am in the world and the regard in which I hold/have held others. It allowed me to love MORE and allow more love to be in the world.

Maybe it’s time for you to review your “heroes box”? Which side do they truly play for? Jedi or Sith?