Falling Down When Looking Up

Scared Chihuahua Puppy

It happens all the time, I hear someone talking about their path and I identify with them. I see we are on the same road, this is wonderful!

And then the comparisons start. I see how far ahead of me they are and my self judgement lights up.

“You aren’t a vegan like he is.”

“You don’t understand the world like she does.”

“You’re not happy all the time like he is.”

This list goes on and on. My voice of self judgement is quite creative.

 

In many ways the presence of services like Facebook make this even more prevalent. I don’t even have to leave my home to run into someone that appears to be doing more with their life. I just run an app on my phone and see people further down paths I wish to travel.

 

It makes me sad and it make me jealous. But worse than all that, it makes me feel lesser, like I am somehow inferior.

 

Logically it’s silly. There is no superiority to a person that leaves the house at 6am for a jog instead of a person that leaves the house at 6:15. And when you’re out for your run there is no point getting frustrated when you see someone ahead of you on the trail. Maybe they left before you and maybe they are a faster runner than you, but they are not you. You are performing your task in a perfect and appropriate manner for the only person that the task is relevant to, you.

 

But there is still that voice. And so it has come to my awareness at several points in my life, that the very people that inspire me, the very people I both admire and emulate, are the people that sometimes bring me down. Perhaps I trip because I spend too much time looking up. And perhaps I look up because I think they are higher than me. When in reality, they are just like me. They live, the struggle, they persevere, and sometimes they give up. The angle of observation that leads to my stumbling is solely a function of the height of the imaginary pedestal that I have raised them up on.

 

We are equals and companions. We are all in this together.

 

Sometimes the reverse happens. Sometimes I find someone that I perceive myself to be ahead of, and the little voice goes off in my head again.

“How could he not know it works this way?”

“She hasn’t figured this out yet? Oh myyyy!”

“Why does he still struggle with this? I have moved on from it.”

It makes me feel good and it make me righteous. But worse than all that, it makes me feel better, like I am somehow superior.

In many ways this causes me more guilt and dismay, when my inner voice talks down to others. It’s funny in a way that I’m more comfortable defaming myself than others. When my inner voice says I’m not worthy, I tend to give it credibility. But when my inner voice defames others I tend to chastise it or at least debate.

Maybe that means I’m half enlightened. Is that a thing? Can you get halfway to a quantum leap?

 

In truth I don’t really think being enlightened has to do with your ability to strike up a defense with your inner voice. And I don’t think the inner voice goes away. But I do think that the volume nob gets turned waaaay down when you realize the truth of things, that it’s words are only a reflection of insecurities and conflicts raised by false perceptions that trace back to moments beyond memory.

We are equals and companions. We are all in this together.

 

So I put all this together simply to say, it happens. To make you aware that the voices are natural and normal. And that the act of raising yourself up through them or falling down as a result of them is typical of the human condition… But it doesn’t have to be. Our minds are primed for comparisons. Comparisons are valuable and powerful and insightful. But the next step must be approached with caution. The transformation of comparison to conclusion is a mighty leap. Be aware of the conclusions you draw.

 

It can be challenging to simply stop drawing conclusions. Conclusions are in our nature. But when aware we can filter conclusions to try to determine what weighed into them. If you are drawing an emotional conclusion or if somehow your conclusions are based on ego, then it’s likely a false derivative of the truth.

 

Seek the conclusions that elevate all, harm none and guide us to the truth.

 

Namaste,

 

Kevin

Scared Chihuahua Puppy

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