Ever read something that makes you want to be a better person? Recently I read The Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute and came away with a desire to do and be better.
I always thought I saw people as people and not objects, but according to the book, in a few cases, I would make a choice that made people come off as objects. I highly recommend the book, especially because I cannot explain exactly what it is about, you simply have to read it. In it, it talks about making choices that either allow us to see people as people or it puts us in a box and therefore the other person becomes an object. Something I noticed immediately is that I have a HUGE "must-be-seen-as box". My whole life I have maintained an image when in public. And not to say that I made anything up, but I have always had to be the best at everything I do and I always had to be right (but I realize that even when I am right, it doesn't have to be public), and I always had to be the spiritual leader. And if my image were ever slipping, I would find a way to correct that image. I have been striving for this ideal so long that I have sometimes forgotten to be human, so when I messed up, I would take it very hard.
When I read this, my conscious mind kept arguing with me and would use gospel quotes such as "be ye therefore perfect". However, I think that quote means so much more than we let it.
I think this is why I have so much trouble on first dates. I concentrate on making sure the date goes well that I forget to relax and just be me. I've had a lot of great first dates... and not so many second dates.
Also reading this book, I realized that I had truly already forgiven my ex-fiancee for what happened. It was good to know I don't carry that around anymore.
Now I am concentrating on being just me. If I mess up, I correct the mistake and move on. I don't feel as much pressure as I used to to maintain my "perfect" image. And most importantly, I'm more free to be me.