Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
“If you’re your authentic self, you have no competition.” — author unknown
Last year I was in a particularly challenging yoga class after taking several months off from any physical activity. I was especially happy that I completed the entire 75 minute class without croaking. As I rolled up my mat, feeling very content, I heard the teacher and a student discussing what a “beautiful practice” a particular student had. Enter my ego. My satisfaction with my practice suddenly turned into competitiveness. I thought to myself, “Ha! I used to have a beautiful practice, and I will again!” Then literally the second I got in the car to leave and turned on the radio, a DJ read a quote about spiritual growth. “When your ego goes away, that’s when growth happens.” Ouch. Okay. I hear you God.
In yoga the term dharma means one’s true purpose or personality and expressing it in the world. Some people live their entire lives still unsure of what that purpose is because they’re so busy looking at others and trying to either imitate or one-up them. There will always be someone more attractive, talented, richer, etc. The problem with comparison is that it is tied to competition. If we are worse than someone, we feel bad about ourselves. If we’re better, it feeds our ego.
Another pitfall of comparison is distraction from our destiny. Each person has his or her own unique race to run. When we waste time comparing ourselves to others or the person we were in the past instead of keeping our eyes on God and on our own path, we can miss the plan he has for our life.
Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…”
The antidote for comparison is being content and comfortable with whom we are created to be. In my 20’s, I took a sales job where I was required to make cold calls all day every day. I took the job because there was a potential to earn an exceptionally good income. Never mind that it was not a fit for me; I hated sales and I was miserable being stuck at a desk all day. I ended up quitting after a year. It was exhausting because I was trying fit the mold of what I thought others expected instead of following my heart and doing something I loved.
“Anyone who knows who God made them to be will never try to be someone else.”
I now see a little of the comparison trap in my son as he prepares to go to junior high next year. I’m determined to encourage him to follow his heart and do what he loves regardless of what others think or say. I don’t want him to miss the joy of thriving in the fullness of his God-given gifts.
My yoga practice is not the same as it was 15 years ago; my path is not the same as yours. It’s not supposed to be. How boring would it be if we were all the same, never growing, never evolving. We each have our own journey. In fact, I’m skipping yoga today to lay in bed and watch movies, and Im ok with that.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Theodore Roosevelt
“Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it. Shake things up today! Be You…Be Free…Share.” ―
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” ―
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” — E.E. Cummings
#authenticity #alwaysgrowing #beyourself #thrivenotjustsurvive #christcenteredyoga #dharma #joy #freetobeme #yogateachertraining
*** Shared with permission from CYA Trainer & Contributing writer, Lori Washko. You can follow Lori and more of her musings at https://shehshareslife.com