How is Comparison one of the biggest thieves of joy in life?

A Note on Comparison
One of the biggest thieves of joy in my life is when the mind starts comparing “me” and my actions to what would, could or should have been! It doesn’t seem to matter much WHAT is being compared. The very act of comparison has an inherent anxiety in it. Inquiry tells me that comparison is usually based on two things: the ideal and the real. The ideal is always something to attain, something better. And the real – what is actually happening – is relegated to a lesser status. So, in the comparison, “I” always come up short!

Further inquiry reveals the disturbing nature of this comparison: the “ideal” almost never can be attained! No matter how hard I try to achieve it, it eludes me! And those amazingly rare moments when I DO achieve it, the mind won’t let me hold on to that satisfaction. Instead, it insists I do it again, or do something BETTER!
Now, after many of these inquiries, when I step back and recognize that comparison is happening, usually the comparison just drops out of sight! It’s as if the mind – finding that it has been caught in this game – quietly slips away!

There is a Lot of Ground Between One Extreme and Another

All or nothing. That’s how the mind gets me to do nothing. It tells me that my choices are to do something that is way too much for me to do in this moment, or not to do it at all.
This sleight of hand that the mind uses is incredibly effective IF I forget that there are many other possibilities IN BETWEEN these two!
So the next time the mind gives you these two options – and you are fortunate enough to remember what is in between these two extremes – then take a small step in the direction of what looks too big to do just now…

Everybody Wants to…But Nobody Wants to!

I’ve started writing and accumulating all the “Everybody wants to but nobody wants to” sayings! Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Everybody wants to live a long life, but nobody wants to grow old.

Everybody wants to have lots of money, but nobody wants to really work for it.

Everybody wants to own the results but nobody wants to own the process.

Everybody wants to share their ideas but nobody wants to implement them.

Everybody wants to make their relationships work but nobody wants to change.

Everybody wants control but nobody wants responsibility.

Everybody wants to change the world but nobody wants to change.

Everybody wants choices but nobody wants to make choices.

Everybody wants to get great service but nobody wants to pay for it.

Everybody wants to be somebody but nobody wants to be themselves.

Everybody wants to be told the truth but nobody wants to tell the truth.

Everybody wants to be told the truth but nobody wants to hear the truth.

Everybody wants to do something to help but nobody wants to be the first.

Everybody wants to get an “A” but nobody wants to study.

Everybody wants to lose weight but nobody wants to exercise and eat less.

Everybody wants a harvest but nobody wants to hoe.

Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.

Everyone wants to be accepted for who they are but nobody wants to accept others for who they are.

Send me any others that you have!



The Choices We Make

I read an intriguing Japanese proverb: “The reverse side also has a reverse side.”
It says to me that both sides – both poles of a polarity – must be recognized.
That is one of the most difficult things for the mind to grasp. For example, there is “good” and “bad.” The mind chooses one (almost invariably “good”) and then rejects what it calls “bad.” This creates a perpetual need for “bad” so that it can be “good.” After all, “good” is defined by “bad.”
What a crazy game! When we understand that good and bad are two sides of the same coin, we can relax into whatever is happening, without choosing one over the other. We have both sides, and to exclude one creates the need to keep the separation – and the other side – alive.
Imagine choosing day over night. What a futile life that would be…