I am again working to complete a meditation challenge from Oprah & Deepak at the Chopra Center for Meditation. This one, titled Desire and Destiny, is a 21-day exercise, with daily 15 minute meditations. I’m attempting to journal every day using the prompts provided in the program, and would like to share my feelings here. Not as a narrative or organized fashion, but more for my own posterity.
Day 4: Conscious Me
Where in your life do you compare yourself to others or compete? How does it feel? What is the inner dialogue or limiting belief that ignites competition and comparison in your life?
At this stage in my life, I find myself constantly competing with my perceptions of the love and happiness that other people receive. I know there are other single people, but I find myself increasingly surrounded by what appear to be happily married or dating individuals and couples. It begins to feel like there was a contest, or a card draw, and I drew a bad card. That there are people I would never even have considered getting married–simply those who I didn’t know well enough to concern myself with their lives–that they can find a partner whom they trust and want to share a life with, makes me wonder if I ever will. I feel inferior, incapable, unworthy because of it. I know that this in turn manifests in my relationship habits such as resentment, jealousy, and a lack of trust, which in turn makes it less likely I will find that partner and “turn my fate around.” It’s a vicious cycle. Even worse, I judge myself for considering a relationship as a vital part of my success as a human individual–shouldn’t I be able to do it all myself?
All of these thoughts create a sense of conflict for me: an intense desire to connect and be worthy of that connection (and the associated fears that I will never be worthy) paired with a rebellion against the idea that I should even desire these things in the first place. It feels like I can’t win, which is probably why I haven’t yet (though there again I voice the thought that some must win and some must lose–can’t there simply be a state of being which is both winning and losing? Perhaps this is called ‘human?’).
Write an affirming supportive letter to yourself, one that reminds you of all that you have to share with the world–your strengths, values, gifts, talents and successes.
It’s been too long since we talked. Sometimes we correspond, but it feels like there are walls between us. Your fears of failing and not being good enough prevent you from seeing what I see, when I look at us from the outside. I see a woman stronger than she ever believed possible (I was going to say ‘stronger than most,’ but we’re trying not to compare to others today, you know?). I see a woman who can do nearly anything she sets her mind to, but is limited by the fact that she is concerned that others cannot do it as well as she can. With that mindset, could she find an equal partner? I see a woman capable of influencing nearly anyone: with acts and words of kindness, with new insight, with true listening. Those tools often get hidden beneath a layer of stress and struggle, but they are inherent gifts, not taught through years of schooling at which you were so successful.
You should believe in yourself, because you have proven to nearly everyone else that they can count on you. You can count on yourself, to achieve your desires. Your capability and strength, those are what make you lovable. Being worthy of love is not some abstract criteria: it is the sum of your parts. You have certainly earned the right to be loved through a lifetime of proving yourself an amazing person. Now own that, and accept what happens next.
What are you grateful for today?
Having enough to live this life. Enough stimulation from a job that is supportive and inspiring and challenging. Enough money to pay the bills and meet my basic needs. Enough extra to cultivate the things that give me joy in life. Enough time to appreciate it all.