Compare, Compete, Confuse

“Compare, compete, confuse.” Yogi Bhajan

Have you seen all the posts on social media about resolutions for self -improvement and professional success in the New Year? There are endless programs to improve your life in every way – lose weight! Re-design your living room! Finish your book in 30 days! Be more politically active! Learn how to be a better parent or have the most perfect kid!

While intellectually I know better, I can feel triggered at times into old, critical self talk which focuses on how much more I SHOULD be doing. This comparison does not inspire healthy competition, but leads to distraction and confusion about what to focus on and dropping the ball from what REALLY inspires me.

Comparisons also happen a lot when faced with cancer and it’s aftermath. While going through treatment, you often hear about how others manage their cancer experience: Mary just “breezed right through it,” Sharon “rode her bike to chemo,” and Leslie “treated radiation like nap time.” Well, good to know but VERY different from how challenging many people find the whole experience.

After active treatment, survivors often feel they should be “over it” more quickly than is realistic and loved ones can encourage this view because they want you to go back to “normal” quickly.

Ten years after diagnosis, I want to remember a few things:

  • Go at your own pace. Treat fellow travelers on similar life paths with respect and maybe affection, but don’t let their steps knock you off your stride.
  • Be present with people when they are speaking to you. Especially your family. Nothing is more important.
  • Enjoy every chance to move your body. Don’t take this for granted.
  • Meditate every day, without judgment about how long or how perfectly.
  • The day is not wasted if you’ve found pleasure in it. Go out to dinner, see a movie, read a novel, show up at a party, appreciate the beauty of nature in your neighborhood, take a nap, play Monopoly with your kid. Laugh.

Healthy pleasures boost the immune system and make life worth living!




2 thoughts on “Compare, Compete, Confuse”

  1. Sat nam, Kelly and friends! I really identified with your blog titled COMPARE, COMPETE, CONFUSE. Ive spent a lifetime moving away from the “I SHOULDS” and towards identifying the highest sacred truth that is me.
    As part of this, I have lately been checking out Al-Alon readings to help me on this path. Many of their readings speak of COMPARE-DESPAIR. that COMPARING ourself with others will only lead to DESPAIR and slow down our journey. I’ve read AL-ANON members talk about living life like they were on a ladder. Everyone was either higher or lower and their Higher Power, or God, or Highest Sacred Truth was way at the top of the ladder and way out of reach. When the members climbed down from the ladders into the circle of fellowship at the bottom, they found we are all the same and that everything is alright, now. Hope this helps someone other than me! Linda Griesel

    • I love this Linda. Thanks so much for sharing. This image of the circle of fellowship is beautiful. I definitely can relate and remind myself – we are all in this together as friends and equals. I don’t have to know more or be more. It’s simple to forget!


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