Envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide wrote the immortal Emerson. Yet so much time and effort is expended in our modern culture in measuring ourselves, our bodies, our work, our lives, our lifestyles, homes, toys, you name it, against what others have, to determine whether we’re on track or not. We emulate or envy while the diamond we are gets covered in layers of doubt, shame and hiding when we feel we don’t match up to the impossibly high standards we sometimes set for ourselves.
I remember some years ago, Dr. Marshall Rosenberg of the Center for Non-Violent Communication, on one of his many trips to Ireland, telling me about a book called ‘How to make yourself miserable’ by Dan Greenburg. I recall that it was out of print at the time I went looking for it and being disappointed because it really sounded like the book for me! Dr. Rosenberg had the whole room in stitches laughing at some of the stories he told from this book. Go ahead; indulge, yes, right now! Compare your efforts to the likes of Mozart who had his first professional European tour at the age of 6, wrote his first symphony at the age of 8 and completed over 600 works before his death at the age of 35. Nuts, isn’t it? So just pack it in! You can choose to compare yourself to others or live with peace of mind but you can’t do both. What do you choose for yourself today?
If you’ve chosen a path in life that involves encouraging and facilitating others to heal, grow, recover, and bloom, it’s normal and natural to feel at times a little discouraged when your best efforts are met with resistance and your clients stubbornly cling to old patterns of thought and behaviour that dis-empower them. Your empathy for them, especially if you’ve just recently begun practicing or feel isolated without much peer support, can at times lead, even if you hate to admit it, to questioning or doubting yourself. Is it possible that perhaps you even subtly compare yourself to other practitioners or trainers you know and experience anguish as a result?
When you compare yourself to anyone else you dis-empower yourself and deny your own magnificence, hide your light instead of living as the beacon of hope that you are. You know the struggles you’ve been through to get here. No-one else can bring the healing to this world that you can because there is no-one in the world like you, you’re one of a kind, unique.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. …”
So get down off that cross right now, you’re doing great! Your mission for today, should you choose to accept it, is to share this message with someone you’d like to affirm and encourage today.