The only two things worth comparing at this age—when you’re wise enough to know that comparing in general leads to heartache and stress—is how much peace and love you experience now, in comparison to how you did before.
Having inner peace and experiencing more love is a timeless aspiration.
The more calm, balanced, and in harmony your core being, the more you’re able to handle life’s challenges and surprises. The more love you feel on a daily basis, the more content and fulfilled you find your existence. Being aware of your peaceful state and how love inhabits your life and striving to nurture these aspects on a day-to-day basis is a task worth the effort.
I stress that these are the only two things worth comparing because all other things such as happiness, success, fitness, health, and so on, are for the most part, in a state of flux and comparing them will likely lead to disappointment.
For example, it’s impossible to be happy all the time and to compare your happiness—from one day to the next—would only create stress and unhappiness. I would contend that it’s unnatural to be happy all the time.
You should be able to feel the full spectrum of feelings without the pressure of having to make yourself feel happy if that’s not what you’re feeling. Sometimes, what’s good for us is to surrender to our ugly feelings. There are valuable life lessons and personal growth that come from experiencing sadness, anger, loss, and so on.
To compare our success level from day-to-day can also promote harsh self-judgement and place unrealistic demands on ourselves. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to achieve goals. Instead, we ought to reach for goals with a sense of timelessness—where we believe we have all the time in the world and that it’s never too late for us to do what we want to do.
If you know that you’ll get done what you’re supposed to get done and you’re not a person who procrastinates, then comparing your daily effort would be like micromanaging yourself. In the history of the world, being micro-managed has never been fun and it can be argued that it was hardly helpful.
To compare our fitness from one day to the next is to be too critical of ourselves. First, our body is always adapting to its environment. Our mood, stress state, nutrition, hormone balance, quality of sleep and so on affect our energy level which contributes to our fitness readiness. Second, to always expect oneself to do more, be better, and to constantly improve upon the efforts of the previous day will only lead to a mind and body breakdown.
The popular fitness and motivational meme saying, “I just want to be better than I was yesterday,” is a recipe for beating yourself up because it doesn’t consider all the variables that affect your mind, body, and spirit well-being. It also lends one to think that we are not good enough as we are—that we should always be doing something to improve ourselves so that we can be seen as good, smart, successful, beautiful, or whatever else we think we are lacking as in the other saying, “Make your weaknesses as strong as your strengths.”
It’s not to say that self-improvement is bad—striving to do better is a good thing for the most part—but underneath our efforts should exist the feeling of acceptance and compassion. If you don’t love and accept yourself with all your imperfections already—even when you achieve what you want—you will find something else about you that is unacceptable and unlovable.
Also, we really only have the NOW—right? Because no one is promised a future. Don’t forget, it’s a blessing to grow older as many don’t even get the chance. It’s best to love and accept the person you are already or you might lose the opportunity of knowing and loving the real you—a life regret that would be for certain.
Nurture Peace and Love
You might be wondering, if the act of comparing usually creates negative feelings and limiting self-beliefs, then wouldn’t comparing the level of peace and love we feel do the same?
I say no because once you turn your attention to asking yourself, “How much peace and love do I feel,” or, “How can I find more peace and love right now,”—something beautiful happens in your mind, body, and spirit.
Do this awareness exercise now and really follow through on answering the questions.
Ask yourself, “How much love and peace do I feel at this moment?”
Close your eyes and do it.
Did you notice what happened to your body? I’m 99% positive you just took a deep breath. I’m also sure that your mind instantly found more peace during and after that breath and your heart energy expanded in your chest.
Ask yourself, “How much more love and peace do I feel now compared to yesterday?”
Close your eyes and think about it.
I am willing to bet you’re drawing a blank thought.
It’s the darndest thing. Our brains easily tally and keep track of our painful, annoying, irritable, and generally bad feelings, but it doesn’t seem to be as diligent in recording our happier states of being.
So when we’re trying to compare our present feelings of peace and love against our past experiences, we either don’t remember them and if by chance we can recollect, we seem to not judge ourselves too harshly on any differences we find. Additionally, our mind automatically creates feelings of peace and love as soon as we cast our attention to it. Our body follows suit by slowing down our breathing, relaxing our muscles, and increasing our body awareness as if to promote a state where we can feel more peace and love.
The longer we dwell in searching—feeling—more peace and love in our present moment, we “ground” ourselves. We check in with our “high-self”—spirit—or whatever you want to call the state of being you inhabit when you are filled with love and peace energy.
Here’s another question to ask yourself, “How can I find more peace and love at this moment?”
Close your eyes and ask yourself.
What happened? I have a sneaking suspicion that your intuition/spirit/heart mind gave you an answer.
This is probably one of the best questions to ask yourself on a daily basis. Doing so will “ground” you, aid in achieving better mind-body-spirit coherence, and help you nurture your feelings of peace and love. I highly recommend that you pose this question to yourself when you’re feeling your “ugly” feelings. But, only do so after you have sufficiently observed and surrendered to “feeling” your ugly feelings and concluded that it’s time to bring peace and love into the equation.
May your feelings of peace and love always grow.
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