"It seems I've lived as though there were two of me. Right where I stand is me as I am. Opposite me is another me, one I've never met. She is quite wonderful, charming, and accomplished... She says and does nothing she regrets... She has all the potential I have misspent... I am taunted by her perfection. The problem for me, you see, is not that I compare myself to you, but that I compare myself to someone who doesn't even exist: the other me... I always imagined this other me to be happier than the real me, which made me feel lacking and sad. I wonder: Do we grieve most for what we've lost or for what we never had? Letting go of her, I find I've lost nothing. The entire world was mine to begin with. She was just hitching a ride. I can't believe I put up with her nonsense for so long." -- from Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden, pp. 132-133, by Karen Maezen Miller.*
I've hauled around a hitchhiker like this through most of my adult life and never known that she's the one to whom I've been futilely comparing myself. She seems to be the far, far better me, the one with the life I should be having, if only I weren't so defective and inadequate. It turns out she's nothing but a freeloading phantom. I'm going to pull over and let this babe off at the curb.
Do you compare yourself to a better you? If so, would you consider stopping that insanity?
for Mindful Monday
© June 2, 2014, post, Donna Pierce
*Source: Miller, Karen Maezen. Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden. Novato, CA: New World Library. 2014.
Photo credit: I couldn't find info about the original source for this image, but I found the image here.
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