How do you compare?
…to yourself? Do you know your true self? What is your true self? People often confuse the meaning of the true self with a sense of a false self. This leads to much of the discontent in modern society. Please read here for a great description of the true and false self. Do you have a routine or ritual that supports your relationship with your true or higher self?
Do you observe your thoughts? Are you constantly judging, evaluating and comparing yourself to others? Do these thoughts bring you joy, happiness or contentment? Does it matter when you judge yourself or situation to be better than what you’re comparing it to? What happens when your comparison makes you feel less than?
Take for example the athlete trying to improve their skill level. If they’re constantly comparing themselves to what the other athletes are doing, then they completely miss the point of self-improvement. They must focus on their skill level, what they do well or where they need to improve. You’ll never ever win by comparing yourself to others. The great thing about this reality is that we can win, we can enjoy a sense of accomplishment when we focus on our own issues, struggles, and qualities. It’s the only measuring stick that will sustain us over time.
First we must acknowledge that we have these thoughts or that we’re stuck wasting time, energy, and focus thinking about other people and what they have, and feeling bad about ourselves for what we don’t have. Once we’ve accepted this reality, then we can change.
As Carl Rogers says,
“The curious paradox is that once I accept myself as I currently am, then I can change”.
To free ourselves from these toxic thought patterns we must shift our attention away from egoic thinking and towards the true or higher self. If we do this, our world, collective mental health and wellbeing will change in ways we can’t even fathom. We get lost in needing to know how change looks. We hold ourselves back by focusing on a knowable future. When we do this, we’re restricted from present moment awareness and access to our true self. We don’t need to know how the future looks. We need to know what the present moment feels like, and we need to understand how to embrace it. When we welcome each moment as is, we open a door that provides opportunity to create a different life experience.
This way of being, or way of life isn’t new. These ideas and practices have been around for thousands of years. Our modern lifestyle challenges us in ways our species isn’t evolved to handle. Our shared global problems directly reflect our collective internal struggles. If we improve our relationship with our true self, we will create a much healthier and less conflicted world.
I linked to Deepak Chopra’s work to help explain the ideas in this article. There are many places to learn about these topics. Here are a few links to resources that have been invaluable for me to learn about and connect to the true self.