The flip side to comparing ourselves to others and finding ourselves ‘less than,’ is comparing ourselves to others so we can feel superior. Again, here, the process to work with our egoistic comparing states is not through judgement, but compassion. It is not simply our righteousness and pompousness that motivates an ‘I’m better than you’ type of judgement; Both self-deprecating ‘I’m not enough’ comparisons and superior ‘I’m better than you’ judgements are rooted in the same sense of insecurity, unworthiness and fear. So, we pause, become mindful of the judgement that enhances the illusion of separateness between us and the other , and we recognize that under the judgement is a tender, vulnerable part that feels the need to shore itself up by saying ‘I’m better than you.’ If we were really confident and secure in ourselves, there would be no need for comparisons.
As a bit of an Alpha Dog, leader type person, I catch myself doing this more times than I care to admit. I’ll be in yoga class with a teacher who is half my age and who is teaching from a physical, rather than spiritual orientation. I catch myself in a critique and a quick conviction that I could do it better. Then I pause, I note what is rooting the judgment. Perhaps it is some underlying insecurity, perhaps it is a need for a spiritual deepening that is not being met in this class. I breath, and I remind myself: “At this moment, I am the student. At this moment, this 25 year-old is my teacher. What is it I am to learn from her?” I surrender into my soft spaces and soften into vulnerability and humility. In doing so, my hard edges yield, and I reconnect with the instructor and with my deeper Self. And as is usually the case, I become more peaceful and grounded. This is ultimately the outcome of mindfulness and Maitri (loving-kindness) practice.
Sabrina Santa Clara / Authentic Alchemy x3
Integrated Spiritual Counseling