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November 22, 2013

Notes On Comparing: We All Do It. ~ Edith Lazenby

Let go of judgment.

I teach yoga and often find myself telling students to breathe and let go.

I try in my life to breathe and let go of judgment. I try in any given moment to do my best. I work on being present to what is with awareness.

Yet sometimes it feels like my best is not good enough, whether or not I am present.

Sometimes I find it so hard not to look around and observe how I stand in my life in comparison to my peers, many of whom are much younger than I am.

I know deep inside I am fine just the way I am.

When I look around and see many performing as teachers and writers with seeming more success than I have, it is challenging to stand tall in my light.

How do I measure success? Feedback.

I look at the classes and notice whose classes are consistently full. Oh, I know I am a good teacher. I know many love me and my classes—I also know I want to be better.  And there are many who consistently draw more students.

I write.

I figure if I touch one heart, I have done my job. But there are those who consistently reach thousands all the time —there are those who consistently edit with keener eyes.

So how do I manage feeling less than? And who doesn’t compare?

There are always those who are stronger, smarter, better….

Well when I was much younger, like almost 30 years ago, a man I was with told me I was the ugliest woman he’d ever been with and though I was beautiful, I did not know it.

My parents had told me my whole life I have nice hands, legs and eyes. And others had often commented on these.

Now I know beauty is more than what any one person looks like, yet this man was commenting on my physical beauty and the facts I hung onto were given me like the gifts they are: the petals of faith that held my heart together when nothing else seemed to hold me.

And today, when I feel like I lost one lifetime, one marriage, to a present I am building day by day, all I hold onto are the few things that give me meaning beyond friends and family, and that is yoga and writing. Yet these activities that I so love also leave my being full of doubt.

Don’t we all sit with doubt and questions? Don’t we all feel insecure at some level? The question is not do we feel insecure; the matter is how do we handle it?

We all need to laugh at ourselves.

And taking one’s life too seriously is dangerous in one way.

This life is really all I have. And it really is.

So all I can do is cry when I need to and laugh when I can. I can get up and try harder today than I did yesterday. I can hold the facts my family gave me that help me stand when there is no ground beneath me that I am worthy, loveable and in their eyes exceptional, though compared to those I see around me I don’t feel worthy or exceptional…and at times I think I might be hard to love for many.

I just keep on keeping on. I know life may not get any easier. I know I get a little better at living it each day.

And the only thing I do know is I am as smart as most anyone I meet. I also know it does not mean a whole lot, to be smart. Smart does not equal compassion. Smart does not mean generous. Smart on its own is not worth much.

It’s about all I have though so I’ll work with it as I plant my feet on the earth and look to the sky knowing the real gift of life is in what we give, and though we all compare, the truth is, comparisons are better at weighing deception than absolutes.

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: (Flickr)

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