I feel inadequate when we compare myself to peers. What do you suggest?

You are comparing apples to oranges (using the old aphorism).  No one and no thing is superior, nor inferior, nor equal.  You are creating your own misery in comparing what really can not be compared and believing the comparison is valid.

It all comes down to understanding…or said another way – dispelling ignorance and the illusions of the mind.  For the time being, let’s skip the most fundamental illusion…a “me” that is invested in self-image.  For now, let us just playfully look at some of the other illusions of the mind and ignorance.

Take this shell I picked up off a beach in Florida, for example.  It is gorgeous.  It was the protection for a living organism once.  Something used to live in it.  Now, when it was occupied…do you think while it was hanging around others of its own kind…it might have said to itself, “I am too fat…compared to them over there. Yes…a bit too fat, but what is worse is that my markings are poorly spaced and don’t line up.”  Of course not, because that is something we do to each other and ourselves.  It is what humans do.

Each of us (as persons) are like pieces to a puzzle.  As long as we don’t recognize how we connect and impact others around us, there might be comparison.  As long as we don’t recognize that the puzzle would be incomplete without us, there might be comparison.  As long as we don’t recognize that no other can take our place (no other will fit), there might be comparison.  How can one judge one puzzle piece superior or inferior or equal to another when each piece only fits in a specific spot?  Only when you can look at how you impacted others’ lives…and see that you are a vital piece to the puzzle…and without you the puzzle is incomplete…will you not compare yourself to other pieces (that would never fit in the same spot anyway).

The Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, points well at this idea.  George Bailey thinks it would have been better if he was never born.  His guardian angel, Clarence, then takes him to a parallel world (of sorts) where he does not exist.  Much changed.  As he was not there to save his kid brother from drowning as a child, his brother died that day.  In his world, his brother was a war hero who saved hundreds…and as his brother wasn’t there anymore…all the lives his brother had saved died in this other world.  The movie, although some might call hokey or over-exaggerated, does point to the interconnected web of life that we are all a part.

If you did not exist, the world would not be the same.  There are hundreds (or thousands) of people you have impacted and influenced over your life…much of it without your knowledge.  Perhaps, you show some kindness…like bringing a homeless person a meal…and someone (you didn’t even know was there) saw it happen.  They might then feel inspired to help someone else.  It continues in a chain reaction.  Science experiments have shown that when others see someone else show compassion…they are much more likely to show compassion to others for a significant time after seeing the event.  Just being seen influences and impacts those around you.

You have to delve into and investigate for yourself…only when you realize there is no one is superior, inferior, or equal will you stop comparing.  Also, if you are watching for opportunities to improve another’s life…or even day…or improve another’s hour…and act when the opportunity arises – then you are always positively influencing those around you and the world in general.  You may have thought it was small or unseen or insignificant or whatever, but the effects ripple throughout your environment and world.

All this is about the role your play in the play of life.  In the Divine play, there are no extras…every role is significant.  Everyone is a star.  The secret for every role is to make today a little better than yesterday…not just for yourself, but others as well.  Now, who/what you are is not your role.  The “me” is just a story…invested in self-image.

Delve into who/what you feel you are.  Inquire…who am I…what am I right now?  If there was a deep realization that there is no “me”…that “me” is only a  thought…then what is there to compare?  There is only the Self…and no other.  This realization, of course, would end all feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, unworthiness, etc.  However, if you still believe in the “me”, you can still look at and investigate the thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions that create these feelings of inadequacy and I hope this post helps start that inquiry.

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Modern-day house-holder yogi and lover of what-is; living in peace, contentment, and joy.

One thought on “I feel inadequate when we compare myself to peers. What do you suggest?”

  1. Yeah and when I feel inferior the oscillating feeling thing starts it’s YIN YANG I try to balance by imagining I am superior and then I fail to confirm and fall back into inferiority, it never halts until I stand and realize it’s all an illusion. You see as you yourself are if you make judgement on something or some one else you sell yourself short by judging your self.

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