Friday, October 19, 2018

On Being a Giant in a Small World (part 1)

Giant (2018)
Ways people leave when you’re a giant
(and helpful mantras for processing feelings about it)

People leave. Maybe you can relate. You may find these mantras helpful, or inspirational to create your own for other situations of being left.

The thing about being a giant is that I take up a lot of room. Most people, I walk into a room, and they feel smaller. It’s not my fault, I’m just a giant. I want to be in the room with people, and I want to talk and laugh and work with them, but when I walk in, I take up a lot of space just being me. Some people don’t feel like there’s enough elbow-room for them, no matter how big the room actually is, no matter how small I try to appear. They leave. My mantra for this is

“people come, people go.”

Some people don’t leave right away. Some people are interested. They look around and realize that the room is big enough for both of us, for all of us, to be giants. They look at me a little more closely than before and they realize that we’re actually the same size, or, at least, they don’t feel diminished by my size - they feel inspired to grow. It’s not that I got smaller. They realized they were bigger. They don’t need a lot of time with me - in fact, they might find me better experienced in doses - but they respect and care for me. These people often hang on, on the periphery, with occasional glimpses and happy chance encounters. My mantra for this is

“hello, giant, hope to see you again!”

Some other people don’t leave right away, but I leave them. They see my giant plight through loving eyes, and though they feel diminished or crowded, they gamely try to stick with me and be my friend anyway. They see me struggle with the smallness around me, and to them, my giant steps look like I’m lumbering around. They want to help or support me, but only in the ways they want to, which often doesn’t help at all. While these people are lovely souls, if they aren’t in my family, I don’t choose to stay where they are.

I’m proud to be a giant! I long to be my giant self without constant reminders that I’m different and people would like me better if I were smaller. Around these helping people, the “giant-friendly” people, I’m always crouching and stooping, smiling and reassuring, stepping back and holding back, so they don’t get scared. They often get scared anyway. It’s just as well. My mantra for this is

“thank you, goodbye.”

A few people stick like glue, until I unstick them. These are people who see my giant abilities with awe and a sense they could never be so amazing. From a place of worship, I can only fall when they realize I am not as giant as they think, and they are not as small. From a place of awe we cannot relate, and I just feel uncomfortable and pressured. A quick glimpse of my temper, even a loud laugh, is often enough to scare them away. My mantra for this is

“I don’t owe my gifts, I give them as I choose.”

Other people don’t leave right away, but I avoid them. These people don’t see me as a giant at all. All my stooping and smiling fools them. They see me as smaller than them, their giant self looming over me. That’s not how I see it as I watch them, knee-high, puffing themselves up taller. But even so, when they are with me, I start to feel myself shrink. I try to stay out of rooms they fill - usually those rooms are too small for me anyway.  My mantra for this is

“I’m too big for them to see me, and I don’t need them to.”

Some people try to stay, but I scare them off good and proper. These are the folks who see how giant I am, and though they feel small, they admire of some of my giant abilities, like lifting heavy things and making the floor rumble when I dance, or telling them that they are giants, too. These people often listen with wonder to my strange words like they are finally hearing what they’ve always suspected but never thought about. We have animated conversations scheming schemes only possible by combining our strengths. It feels like friendship and the potential adventures are intriguing. But these people, I scare off.

At some point I don’t hold back enough, and they see just a glimpse of my actual strength and my weakness. It’s not on purpose - I don’t plan it that way! But the moment always comes, when trust depends on knowing if they’re big enough, and strong enough, to take care of themselves; to not get seriously injured by playing with a giant for real. When pressed, not many feel they are.

These people are the hardest because I always feel so hopeful, for too long, that they really know they are giants and we might have giant adventures together. When it turns out that the whole time, when I thought I was looking them in the eye, they thought I was looking down, the disappointment tastes more bitter each time. The energy of breaking and loss gets into my bones and joints, it brings me down. I need days before I can stand up tall.

So I avoid people who seem like they might not pass when the test inevitably arrives, but some make it all the way to this point and then leave . My mantra for this is

“better now than later.”

Remember, all suffering stems from wishing reality different than it is. Everything is the way it is. It can only be the way it is, or we wouldn’t exist. So when you’re a giant, it makes sense to accept that people will leave for many reasons that have very little to do with your value as a person. It’s a good idea to be ready to stay whole and healthy with a solid grip on yourself when it happens. My mantra for this is,

“people come, people go. still, I’m glad I’m a giant.”