get off (one’s) high horse. To stop acting as if one is better than other people; to stop being arrogant or haughty.
A lot of what I shared in my previous blog was also inspired by listening to the recent Eqafe recordings called When the Honeymoon Phase is Over and After the Honeymoon Phase because it describes really well one of the main patterns that I have lived for a long time in my own mind where I have become very picky, deterministic and absolutist when it comes to creating a perception of ‘perfection’ existing in another that stands in the ‘position’ of being ‘my partner’ and creating this high standards about how the person ‘must be.’ In a way, I’ll be describing the creation of this ‘high horse’ character where I have been experiencing a sense of superiority and comparison towards my partners where I have been quite quick to determine what ‘is acceptable’ and what ‘isn’t’ based on forgetting and not considering a few things that I’ll be sharing here.
Even if I knew that I am changing this at a knowledge level when it comes to not judging people based on the emotional reactions they may have, but rather step up to create space for understanding them, placing myself in their shoes, not judging but instead, look back at how I can relate to the creation of reactions and how I have supported me to walk through them, I have at the same time held a very blind spot when it comes to the person that ‘occupies’ the role of being ‘MY partner’ and in that almost creating a separate ‘grading’ system for them, because of thinking a bit too high of myself and so considering that ‘they’ should be ‘up to my standards’ in a way, and so I’ll be sharing how this is quite consequential and the lessons I’ve learned by identifying this within me through the support of that couple of Eqafe recordings.
I can totally relate to the description in the audio recording of being almost like this king with his whole flair and absolutist power to simply say ‘No’ to something and make it unacceptable and create zero space for a second consideration about someone or something they are deciding on. This is in relation to how in my relationship there was a moment where I decided to question certain reaction in my partner which wasn’t really ‘new’ because, I had been aware of it since the beginning. The important point that I’ve shared before is how it has been me all the way that decided to polarize the idea or image of the other person into a positive way where all the actual characteristics that I could have ‘questioned’ from the beginning, were shoved aside. This is where I had to realize that there was no deliberate ‘hiding’ from my partner about those aspects before, I was the only one that decided to blur them, place them aside and keep sugar coating those reactions whenever they would come up, in essence, not taking it seriously.
Yes, this is part of what is commonly known as the ‘honey moon phase,’ but it is definitely something I created in my mind where it was only now after several months that I decided to question certain reactive pattern and take it ‘too damn serious’ to question him about it, which was of course a bit ‘out of nowhere’ considering this wasn’t something new in our interactions, it was just me that in a moment decided to get on this high-horse of questioning in a very serious tone how ‘bad’ such reaction is and if I may be able or capable of continuing a relationship with someone that is having this kind of reaction towards other people in a certain moment of frustration.
Well, here is where I need to explain what this ‘high horse’ character entails and what I’ve realized from the moment I’ve been able to hear it in the recording and, to be honest, as I was translating such recordings, I had to laugh a lot when it was described, because that’s exactly how ‘I feel’ inside myself when having this ‘serious questioning’ about someone’s reaction and getting into this absolutist throne where I can put my thumb up or down to say yay or nay to continuing an entire relationship just because of getting to – or deciding to – question a pattern that I had simply left aside, not opened up and not even reacted to before. But based on my own shared experience in that moment – which yes was also that of being fed up by a certain situation that was ‘out of our hands’ I decided that what he said was ‘too sensitive’ and required attention and needed to be opened up.
This turned out to be very cool because all in all, regardless of my high horse stance or not, it was a reaction that assisted us a lot to get to talk about many other things to settle where we’re generally ‘at’ with each other in the relationship. This assisted me to refresh my memory of how I was in that moment projecting ‘how I want him to be’ – which is yes, a very common pattern in me that I haven’t totally changed, I can see that – and forgetting in one moment about the totality of who the person is and the noticeable mutually supportive aspects that we’ve developed in our relationship together.
Yep, it can be a bit baffling how I can get myself in that ‘zone’ where I just zoom-in one single aspect that I find simply ‘unacceptable’ in a single moment and suddenly decide that this is ‘so questionable’ that the entirety of who the person is becomes questionable. This is a common pitfall that I can see becomes like a tunnel vision where one can spiral almost out of control and losing sight of the reality of the person that we are judging and creating a problem about in our minds.
The high-horse character also implied that I was not seeing at all ‘my problem’ or ‘my personality play-out’ at all, because in my mind, I was in fact like this royal person that decides that this/that is not acceptable in MY life. I felt that superiority stance where almost ‘nothing’ or no one would ‘ever’ be ‘up to my standards,’ which means that somehow I have been regarding myself in a very ‘superior’ stance that I tend to mostly compare and project to the partners that I’ve had in my life. I tend to be more considerate to everyone else BUT! Holy, if it’s the one person that becomes ‘my partner’ it’s almost as if they had to be the premium gladiators to be ‘up to the standard’ of what would be somewhat similar to how I am or how I see myself.
Here, there needs to be some point of equilibrium because I’ve been in both polarities where I’ve disregarded myself in the past where I had no self-worth, self appreciation or self love and I went looking for all of that in relationships that, for the most part, were no-good for me – and were quite compromising in fact – which has been a lifelong pattern to be honest. That’s been kind of my weakness, because I believed I could ‘change them’ and within doing so, create ‘the perfect partner’ IF only they could ‘step up to my standards’ – yep, wanting to change someone or asking someone to change in order to be in a relationship is just a No-go, ever. It’s unacceptable.
Even in the most subtle things where one is compromising oneself to do certain things to please another and knowing within that ‘it is not you,’ I now realize that is just a no-go and a recipe for disaster if one starts compromising with certain things to ‘fit’ into a relationship.
But that’s something I have only been able to see and realize now where I am with a person that accepts me as I am, even with the worst of the aspects that he also points out about myself. We recognize them and I’ve asked him to assist me when I am showing that worst of myself like the control freakism pattern I’ve shared about before and also whenever my ‘subtle ways’ come out to have him ‘be perfect for me’ type of thing, which is unreasonable and absolutely unacceptable, because it would only be about creating ‘my perfect partner’ and have this ‘perfect robot’ that doesn’t get to challenge me or question me at all. Man, that would be awful, because there is something that I am extremely grateful for which is the feedback and support that my partner provides in being very frank about the stuff that I do, how I do it and how it comes through in a moment, because let’s face it, not many people stand in such position in our lives to do that. In my life it’s been mostly my mother, some of the closest people I talk to from the Desteni community and my partner.
So getting off of my high horse happened while opening up the whole questioning of such reaction to him, where I got to actually realize that yes, I was again being too exigent, projecting ‘my ideals’ and only focusing on ‘how I think things SHOULD be’ and in that, yes, getting reminder that no person will be ‘equal to me’, nor should that ever happen because we are all individuals and part of the actual enjoyment in life is to get to know who we are and how we can decide to interact, live and coexist with a ‘world in itself’ in the shape and life of another human being.
One thing that baffles me as I said above is how much I simply became possessed for a moment about this questioning of a reaction, where I stopped considering the totality of the person and all that he has shown and lived with actions – not just judgments or backchat that he may speak out loud from time to time and yes, it was a frightening reminder of how ‘easy’ it is to fall into this pathological way of thinking where one simply focuses on ‘the worst’ of someone in one single moment and starts piling up stuff that one hadn’t worked with/looked at before and suddenly build up this whole sinister story about someone. It actually reminds me of those Thriller books I used to read as a child, where the story goes fine and dandy and then it gets to the climax where all those details and seemingly subtle points through the story build up to expose this huge problem and sinister case about a murderer or a psychopath etc. lol
I mean, really, I saw how in my mind it can easily go into that if I don’t ground myself in the basics. So that’s how what was supportive for me in that moment is to have a moment for myself to let the emotion out in crying and then realizing ok, yes, this is an emotional reaction though I know emotion and victimizing myself right now is not the way out, not talking about it is not the way out. This needs to be talked through and gotten to a point of understanding because! I already know how we are both quite level headed and there’s really no further problems between us where ‘big’ emotions emerge that could make our dialogues impossible, so that was also a grounding point to know we could simply talk about it and realize the many points that I had missed from my sight, where I went into my ‘high horse’ and create deliberate ‘sugar coatings’ as I explained in a blog about memories before. That way he could see where and how I am having a different idea of ‘how things should be’ that he simply takes as very normal stuff based on ‘who he is’ and ‘how he is’, which he has been and expressed from day 1.
So, in a way I realized I created my own storm, but it was beneficial to talk it out because it assisted me to realize how much I was not focusing on the reality of things, how I was holding on to a polarized version of him and of who he is – as I had mentioned some time ago, seeing him in this positive light only – and also how he had no clue of my relationship to certain words and attitudes and what it meant to me, while for him it was frankly normal stuff that ‘everyone does.’
This is where another aspect of the high-horse character comes through where yes, I realized that I forget that I’ve been learning how my mind operates, questioning, observing and working on myself, my reactions, my habits, changing ways in which I would ‘naturally react’ and re-wire myself on a day to day basis for over 10 years now based on the principles I’ve been learning and applying from the Desteni material. I do realize that because of how easy it was for me to understand myself with my partner and see that he was quite principled in a natural manner, I kind of created the belief that such principles would expand on to ‘changing’ certain reactions within him, certain ‘traits’ of character… and in that forgetting that nope, having such values/principles as a person does not mean that he is working with the totality of his nature to change it.
In fact it is only now through the relationship that we have, that he is becoming aware of many things that he didn’t even question before about himself and his way of being, because of being quite a ‘man to himself,’ meaning where he only would have to ‘respond’ to himself and not having developed any real deep relationships with any other person that could get him to open up about things that he hadn’t questioned or even seen about himself, and I find that fascinating as well! Because I tend to forget who he is, his personal history, the way he has lived for most of my life and in that compare me and ‘my process’, ‘my ways’ to his and create this sudden ‘nah-uh unacceptable!’ finger-pointing type of haughty attitude to something he had not even seen as ‘a problem’ within him at all. In this I also realized the ‘disconnect’ we can create when not sharing and communicating about the way that each one of us sees certain actions the other does, which is something he has done about me pretty much from the beginning, which has been great because that’s what I wanted, a point of honesty that leads to realizing the ‘worst’ of myself that few had dared to question or point out and now I get to be with someone that won’t take any shit either lol, so we are two very ‘peculiar’ beings so to speak where each one of us has very cemented principles and ways of being that at the same time are learning to create considerations for the other and create a middle ground, which is definitely doable, even if we are both very stubborn at times lol. We totally make it fun to do this kind of things, mostly because we love each other and we realize what it entails to live with another. May sound cheesy but! Omg, it is true! haha
So! to make it simple: the opening of this situation where I was able to get off my high horse, realize I was imposing/projecting my own process to my partner – who is not walking this process or the tools I use for self support – and in that, I was in fact not living the words that I’ve committed to live with any other person, like getting to hear them, to consider them, to place myself in their shoes, to understand they are not yet knowing ‘how’ to deal with their reactions and reminding myself that I can only be an example and share how I’ve walked through similar things myself. I was almost like creating a big deal about it as if it was a person that would already know ‘how’ to use tools like self-forgiveness or being in the path to change those aspects within him. He is not, and this is something that I am also fine with, because in general the person that he is, the words he lives, the way he lives and the challenges he represents for me in my life as well are what I need at the moment.
Something that I’ve realized is that it makes it difficult at times to really get to know How to talk to ‘regular people’ out in the world so to speak, because they don’t speak your same ‘lingo’ as when being with someone that walks this process. Not saying this should be ‘the way’ when it comes to relationships between people that walk the same process or people that walk with someone that doesn’t have the same background, but I find that this is specific for me, because I definitely have realized how much I lost ground and ‘contact’ with reality when being too focused on my personal process and only relating to people that are also walking this process. So, this year has also been a testing ground for me to realize in many ways where I am living only as a ‘preacher’ but not really living what I THINK is common sense, and bam, that’s just what I needed to realize as well. While at the same time also seeing how I’ve been able to change many aspects which surely make my current relationship possible.
Part of the ways to get off of my high horse was to focus and remind myself of all the words that I wrote out about him and the reasons why I decided to be with him, which have proven to be a great pillar of support that I’m quite grateful for. I may sound too laudably, but, that’s the reality based on what has opened up for both in the relationship. It’s quite something and I definitely have to create a flag-point whenever I see myself going into these tunnel-vision points where I lose my ground about something I define as ‘negative’ and ‘unacceptable’ in a very absolutist way. I have to take a moment by myself – which I did then – to slow down, let the emotion out so that I could then sit with him, eye to eye and talk about the whole situation which was one of the moments that definitely strengthened our resolve to be with one another, and this is priceless and definitely recommendable to do, because I got to understand much more about him and consider things that I had completely forgotten about in one single moment of reacting to his reaction.
This is one of the many more reasons why I recommend getting to listen to Eqafe recordings in your day to day, like the ones I mentioned which were definitely spot on and very timely for me to look at how I was stepping into this superiority pattern that was preventing me from SEEING reality and was blinding me with this kind of ‘perfection’ light that is definitely not realistic when we are talking about a relationship with two very real and direct people that don’t hold back about things. If anything, I actually appreciate he is ‘speaking his mind’ even if the things that come out are not ‘angelical’ lol, it’s at least commendable that there’s still people that dare to say: yes this is what I thought and yes this is who I am as well, and yes I know it’s not nice or pretty but never said I was. Because it is true, so many people only fake and paint a nice image of themselves in the first phases of a relationship that lead to the inevitable ‘monstering’ phase as some say here hehe where people show their true colors and so the relationship ends around that time when they start seeing the reality of themselves.
On my side, I have to remember my process, especially when it comes to the ‘standards’ I have created towards ‘my partner’ as if that was this very ‘difficult shoe to fit’ and as I mentioned in my previous blog, it sure is, I’m not an ‘easy person’ for most of the people really, lol, I am quite exigent to myself and so to that person that is closest to me. But fortunately I found someone that also has his personal exigencies very established as well, which is why I guess we get along so well. And even if we differ in many perspectives, ways of seeing or understanding the world or in how we deal with our own problems, I’ve also come to realize that such mental-aspects don’t really matter for me. What really matters is the conviviality, the habits, the livelihood and coexistence with a person that lives with personal integrity. I appreciate more that there is no presentation or attempt to ‘fake’ a certain idea of himself to ‘be liked’ or accepted, because he wasn’t seeking that at all, which have created a very comfortable space for us in the relationship, because no one else gets to see us as ‘we truly are’ and say what we truly think to anyone else. And her by comfortable I don’t mean, ‘easy’ because it’s not challenging, I’d say it’s the other way around, and it is paving a nice space for me to learn how to best relate to people ‘in the world’ in fact.
To me, this is supportive because he is quite an example that I definitely lacked when being in relationships in the past where my starting point was that of lack of personal appreciation, acceptance, self-worth which would reflect back on the people I would decide to be with. He is definitely the opposite of that, which is an awesome example to also take on, where is not in ‘need’ of a relationship, but sees the mutual benefit of it, he is not in ‘need’ of love because he lives that for himself, and yep to be honest I’m learning more about what it means to love oneself with actions, not just fluffy self-positive thinking. And! sure thing I’ve also been able to create an impact on the relationship he has with himself and his self-care too, so all in all, a very supportive and complementary process.
It is as simple as this: I would not have been able to be in this relationship if I had not worked with my own patterns and usual behaviors in relationships. This is STILL work to do of course, which is also cool when being with someone that has no past relationship history, so for him it’s a whole discovery process in itself that I’m quite happy and fortunate to be a part of.
And that’s how the story ends, where one moment of reacting to ‘character flaws’ and deciding to talk and open it up led to having a very supportive and vulnerable conversation that got me to realize ‘Oh fuck, I did it again!’ with being really inconsiderate of ‘where another is’ and ‘how they see things’ and imposing my own ‘change’ and even ‘my process’, instead of really considering the totality of who he is, the life he’s lived and get to also focus on the words, the actions, he has lived throughout the time we’ve been together.
I hope I didn’t spill too much honey here, hehe, but that’s what opens up within a relationship when transforming a moment of reaction, confronting it, opening it up, discussing, getting to understand each other and create a ‘new’ approach to things, which became another level of depth in the relationship.
Ok thanks for reading! And if you want to read a very supportive chat I had with fellow Destonians about this situation I share about here, read this chat transcript: Being in a High Horse: Becoming Aware of It and Looking at Corrections however you’ll have to sign-up to destonians.com to be able to do so, which I recommend because there’s no other group in the world where we dare to be that vulnerable in sharing the ways that we are being challenged and how to support each other to face ourselves and create the best version of ourselves. We always learn from each other.
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August 19th, 2019 at 2:26 am
Awesome challenge. Thanks for sharing!