Toxic Relationship ‘Glimmer’
“I know if someone is my friend by how I feel about myself when I am with them.” ~ Gayle M.
If you are unsure about a relationship, it may be a conflict between how you perceive the person versus how you actually experience him or her.
Sometimes we build people and situations up in our minds, and then ignore where reality does not match up. Then, once we’ve decided how we think they are, the contradictory details slip by. When our experience and expectations collide, we blame ourselves or other outside factors instead of upgrading our assessment.
It is possible, under these circumstances, we are being confused by a “glimmer.”
In The Mists of Avalon, the high Priestess Viviane uses her magic to project a “glimmer” of a spiritual miracle to inspire and convince a crowd. The glimmer she creates is a hologram of a person under Viviane’s control. The illusion is so spectacular the crowd is convinced.
The definition of glimmer is: To shine unsteadily; twinkle, or shimmer.
A glimmer is not solid, but it looks real enough to make people believe in it. As a projection of false self, a glimmer shines enough to fool others.
Stories like The Mists of Avalon use metaphors to describe everyday things. Your friends, co-workers or family members who unsettle or confuse you are not using magic powers to create a hologram. However, it is possible to project ideas and impressions into the minds of others, and some people work very hard to do that.
Very obvious, surface level examples would be a person who drives an expensive luxury car but lives in an inexpensive studio apartment. Or a dinner party host who claims to have cooked a meal that was really catered. Or the boss who claims his staff’s idea as his own. All of these people care more about the impression they leave in some people’s minds than reality, and strongly want to appear as better than they feel.
Hidden behind these behaviors is the mistaken idea that happiness comes from money, status, power or having things. If this were true, rich people would always be happier and poor people would always be sadder. Americans who travel the world are often shocked at how the opposite of this belief often plays out. People in very poor areas can be consistently more joyful and loving than the wealthiest tycoon.
In fact, true happiness is more about authentic connection than status or things.
Much nearer to us, and where a glimmer gets more damaging is when we are in a close relationship with someone who is so deeply injured emotionally — from childhood or something else — that they never feel free to be themselves. Even in the most intimate relationship, they have to pretend to be better and compete for status or attention, or they feel as if they are nothing at all. This creates distance and imbalance in relationship.
The first time I became aware of the ‘glimmer’ was while dating someone. It wasn’t serious, we were getting to know each other and had talked quite a bit. From the stories he told about himself, I had formed an idea in my mind of who he was as a creative, successful, get-it-done kind of guy. When we spent time together, he was very easy to be around and I felt very comfortable with him, except for strange moments of sudden mood swings that would pass. Between the stories he told me about his past success and life story and the comfort of spending time with him I was very interested.
Fortunately, through synchronicity, I came across some information that exposed his stories as lies. He was a person who burned bridges and left damage behind him wherever he went. With this new information, my inner vision of him shifted and I saw who he truly was. Suddenly instead of glossing over the strange mood swings they made sense — as part of the real him — rather than a strange aberration of an otherwise good person.
If you are having trouble reconciling how a person acts with who they are supposed to be, step back. Put aside your ideas about this person, and focus instead on the actual experience.
Do you feel better or worse after spending time or talking with them?
Actions speak louder than words, and will reveal the true nature of your relationship.