There’s an expression I’ve heard that says, “Compare and despair.” Ain’t that the truth! There’s always going to be someone who is “better” or “worse” than me at something. In the past I’ve used it as a marker of self-worth or importance. As in, I can feel good about myself if I’m better than Jane Doe at a particular task, but feel bad about myself if I’m worse. Whoa buddy. Now isn’t that a perfect setup for creating a complex?
I bring this up because this week I do find I'm comparing myself to those around me. On both ends of the spectrum. I’ve compared myself and came up short and compared myself and came out ahead. Neither one of those is where I’d like to be. I don’t want to be ahead or behind. I don’t want to feel superior or inferior. In many ways it’s easier for me to deal with inferiority because then I can pull out my favorite quotes about how we’re all divine children of God and we’re all made to shine. It’s much harder for me to deal with superiority and arrogance because I almost feel like that's what it means to believe I'm a divine child of God.
Really though superiority and inferiority are different sides of the same coin. When I start comparing myself to others, puffing up my ego, I’m overcompensating. I’m overcompensating to make myself feel better. To make myself believe I am courageous and intuitive and strong. Because a part of me must not really believe it. Otherwise I wouldn’t need to say I’m braver than so-and-so. Otherwise I would just feel that I'm brave, period.
All of this is just a long-winded way of saying when I judge others (and myself) it’s a sign I’m not giving me the love I need. Just like I wrote before about wanting people to pay attention to me, judgment is another indicator I’m not looking internally enough. I’m not telling myself, “I love you,” enough.
It would be very easy to start self-chastising, to criticize myself for being judgmental or arrogant or whatever, but the truth is those acts are so not helpful. They don’t correct the problem, they just make me feel worse. Criticizing only compounds the situation and adds a layer of guilt and shame.
I bring this up because judgment runs rampant in our society in all corners of the world. Somehow we’ve been conditioned to rank ourselves, figure out what our place is, and judge those around us. I for one don’t want to participate anymore. I’d rather be completely focused on me and my life, allowing other people to be who there, accepting them as they are, and letting go of anything else. I’d rather feel at peace with where I am, knowing the only person I can change or even want to change is myself. I’d rather deeply and completely love and approve and accept myself. I know when I do judgment falls away.
And I have that wish for others. (A video I’m tapping along with to help me in the process can be found here.)
I dream of a world where people are more internally focused. A world where they recognize they are who they are and comparisons are futile. A world where people love and approve and accept themselves. A world where people feel love for themselves and the love coming at them from the Universe. A world where we recognize we are each unique incarnations of God/Brahma/the Universe and that’s awesome. A world where we know someone else’s brilliance only heightens our own.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.