Tag Archives: comparison

Comparisons

P1070644Do you compare yourself against others? I didn’t think much about it and if asked, I would probably have answered in an off-hand manner, “No”.

This morning I am preparing for a trip to meet two sisters for a few days at the ocean. Normally this would be a trip for some sweats, jeans, and plenty of shoes so that some can be drying while I’m walking along the beach getting others wet in the lapping and capricious  tide.

But I am packing for one of my sisters. She always looks beautiful. Her hair, make-up and dress are impeccable when she emerges from her room in the morning. (As opposed to my sleep-lined face and spiked (unintentionally) hair. I must be prepared if we all decide to go to dinner or to visit galleries in the small coastal town. I must live up.

So I understand that if I compare myself to my sister and come up wanting, that I must of some sort of comparison every day. Evidently I carry an interior yardstick with me everywhere I go. Not bad, I suppose except that I’d like to live my life without considering myself to be higher/lower, better/worse than others.

I don’t think comparison is one of the facets in the concept of oneness.

Crushing!

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Filed under Living our best life, Self-Acceptance Project, When we know better, we do better

A Look at Judgment

In the split second that I look at my friend and think, “How could she?”, I am creating a distance.

When I scoff to myself and think, “I wouldn’t…”, I am lying to myself.

When I (easily) get in this mode I remember Maya Angelou’s assertion in her Master Class.  It resonated with me and chastened me when she said that if we are human, we can’t possibly say we wouldn’t do what a human being has done.

Of course, my mind immediately went to the serial killer who took my niece’s life.  It went to the child molester.

What I should be considering is my day-to-day life and my judgement about the people I love.

I know this lesson well.  I know that if someone irritates me, I should look carefully at myself to recognize the behavior in myself.  I’ve written about it before and know that I will again.

And how far is the gap between judgment and love?  How difficult is it to bridge the rushing river of critical thoughts which lets me to think I can do better? Or that my friend should do better?

The truth lies in loving myself first.  In being so sure that I am a cherished child of God and the universe that I needn’t put myself ahead or behind.   That I needn’t feel sure that I am better…or worse.  That I needn’t compare myself and come up ahead.  I needn’t compare myself at all.

Perhaps it will be nirvana when I can smile at my friend and wish her well with no thought to change her, correct her, or hope for better things.

Or it will be true love.

The Student

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Filed under Master Class, etc.

She’s No Prize

Am I the only one who bristles?

My husband was describing the new love interest of one of my daughter’s friends.  The whole backstory is of a young man in high school whose entire background is unknown to me.  I only know that his father is single again after having been married to a woman who was not the boy’s mother (I just learned), that the  boy doesn’t like the father’s new girlfriend, and is a bit adrift.  For now he has become the other brother of my grandson.

I haven’t met any of the women.

My husband said of the new girlfriend, “She’s no prize.”

“Oh, really?” I say.  “Why do you say that?”

“Well, she’s not good looking.”

Bristle, bristle.

In our ensuing conversation I tried to get a more concrete reason that she may not be a great future mother.  Does she pick on the boy?  Is she cold to him and loving to the father?

“Well, bristle all you want,” he said, “she didn’t appeal to me.”

My husband is first and foremost  a father and grandfather.  His overdeveloped co-dependency has him feeling responsibile to everyone, let alone a young man who tugs at his heartstrings and plays a mean game of basketball.  So I know that his reaction is based on more than this woman’s looks.  He has many years of experience in evaluating parenting…both his own and others.

And yet his way of articulating his discomfort with this woman is to judge her looks.

I’ve always been ouchy on this subject and got a new shot of low-level angst when I recently watched Miss Representation on the OWN Network.  It was a graphic lesson of how all of us are trained to judge women.  And how we judge ourselves.

I’m not writing this to defend a woman I haven’t met.  If I talked with her for a couple of hours I might see all sorts of red flags warning against her position as a step-parent to a growing boy.  But I defend her right to have more concrete criteria for excellence than her age, weight, physical characteristics and projected sexual vibes.

My defense is for all of us.  My defense is for my generation, my children’s generation, and that of my grandchildren.

Somehow we must begin taking steps to retrain both our young women and our young men.  What are those steps?

I wish I knew.

Life Student

 

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Filed under Self-Acceptance Project, Self-examination