There’s a term that is often used in 12-step programs: right-sized. It refers to getting to a place where we feel we are no better and no worse than other people. In this place, feelings of fear and superiority fall away because we see that we’re all on equal footing.
Many of us either feel superior or inferior to others; we might be egotistical or shameful. An outward expression of pride or conceit is what we typically associate with arrogance. The prideful person acts as if he is better than others but deep down he is scared of what people think of him and he acts aggressively so that he will appear strong. At the root of his act is fear. The person who acts passive and feels shameful is also displaying arrogance in a different form. He comforts himself with the idea that everything and everyone is against him. These are both forms of pride. They see themselves as far too important. As if all the people in the world have the time to scheme and plot against the inferior personality while being obsessed with having to compete with the superior person. Both views are inaccurate and are rooted in low self-esteem. Shame and pride are two sides of the same coin.
A person who is confident in him or herself does not feel the need to build themselves up by putting others down. They have an internal serenity and satisfaction and know that they belong in the world exactly as they are. They are no better and no worse than any other human being and feel perfectly comfortable with most anyone. Fear of people and circumstances becomes unnecessary. Being right-sized means one is no longer served by feeling larger than or smaller than others. There is a feeling of peace that allows one to feel like part of the universe and connected to all other living beings.
Many schools of thought say not only are we connected to everything else but that we actually ARE everything else. Scientific theory essentially confirms this by stating that we humans, along with every other thing on earth, are all matter and all made up of exactly the same thing – energy. Which is all made of the same thing – atoms. So basically, all matter is the same. We are all the same. We’re just wearing different costumes.
It is my daily mission to stay “right-sized” and remember that I am everyone and everything and they are me. Being right-sized doesn’t mean that I don’t matter. Quite the opposite. I matter exactly the same amount that everyone else matters. We are all moving the Universe forward and we impact each other every day in innumerable ways.As I write this, I am reminded of the “blanket” scene in I Heart Huckabees. I love this movie. It’s a story about 2 existential detectives helping people find their truth. In the blanket scene, Dustin Hoffman’s character is explaining interconnectedness to Jason Schwartzman’s character and Jason’s character, finally understanding, says, “So everything is the same even if it’s different. Ok… and why do I need to remember this?” Dustin’s character says, “because when you get it, you can relax because everything that you could ever want and be, you already have and are.”
That sounds pretty great.