I recently had a conversation with a friend. She – unlike my parents who have said something like this to me for years – was finally able to get through to me an idea that I have never before been able to truly take in.
It’s about comparison.
She pointed out to me how much of my life I spend evaluating others – and by extension, myself. This person is highly attractive – this person not so much. This person is successful – this person is less than. This person is talented – this person is a want-to-be.
And, more or less the same, to me too.
I’m attractive – or not. I’m successful – or not. I’m talented – or not.
And over the years, throughout my spiritual quest, I have managed to consciously manipulate this pattern so I believe: “Well, that person may be rich, but that doesn’t give them happiness. That person may be homeless – but they could still be able to find contentment. That person may have killer abs, but does that really make him sleep better at night in the arms of a person who loves him unendingly?”
I would and do remind myself that nothing in this world guarantees joy – and in the end, we will loose everything physical and tangible to age, decay, and time.
So I’d say: “Yeah – they’re hot… but so what?!”
But what my friend pointed so eloquently out to me is this:
I’m living in a contestant state of “better than.” Even if I’m reminding myself that their gifts may be temporary and lacking deep satisfaction, I’m still evaluating.
This mindset is one of lack. One of insufficiency.
There’s only so much beauty – and it’s a competition. There’s only so much success – and it’s a competition. Or, even, there’s only so much enlightenment – and it’s also a competition.
Instead of just blessing them and feeling grateful for them, and myself, wherever they/we are.
When I see someone with many riches: I bless them. When I see someone lacking: I bless them.
I bless everyone. And love them. And thank the heavens for their gifts. Love them for what they have.
And let go of the last shards of envy I still carry with me.
It’s so easy to build up a self-perception by one’s many attributes. To define one’s self by one’s successes and failures. Best features and ugly distractors.
Instead of just being thankful. Instead of just being grateful. FOR EVERYTHING.
So this is my new goal: Just be deeply grateful.
Celebrate others’ gifts because they’re worth celebrating. Instead of measuring myself up to them, just say: Bless them.
Send them light and happiness and joy from the heart of the universe.
I’m not sure this’ll be easy – but I think it’ll be heartily worthwhile.
I want to find this non-dualistic, this non-better-than outlook.
I want to embrace the beauty of all. The grace of all. The light in all.
It’s going to be a monumental mind-shift. And I invite you to join me on this journey. See if we can both reprogram our minds to just see what light there is in others. And not decipher who burns the brighter.
To just let life be as it is – and give thanks.
This is my opportunity to grow.
Care to join?