Professional Student of Life
Adventures in personal growth
…just being ordinary in itself is an expression of Divinity; the truth of one’s real self can be discovered through the pathway of everyday life. To live with care and kindness is all that is necessary. ~ David Hawkins
I’m not sure if it’s the result of social media or just a normal human (ego) tendency, but we all fear it to some extent: Being ordinary. One of the gifts of this pandemic is that many of the more Instagram-able aspects of life are denied us, including travel to exotic places, dining out, and most other forms of socializing. We’re thrown back on ordinary life, bereft of the things that make us look and feel “special” in the eyes of the world.
To the ego, ordinary means boring, unsuccessful, unpopular… not good enough. The ego is a master of “compare and despair.” It constantly watches what other people do, from celebrities to neighbors to friends, and judges our own worth in comparison. It really doesn’t matter whether we pronounce ourselves superior or inferior, because the measurement itself is meaningless – like trying to figure out the distance to New York in pounds.
Even when we try to use a better measuring tool (are we making a big enough impact on the world? Helping enough? Doing enough?), we are really just dressing up the ego in spiritual clothes. We still feel that we need to perform – and be recognized as succeeding – in order to be okay. We still want to be the great and powerful Oz, not the ordinary guy behind the curtain.
One of the great tasks of life is to learn our own worthiness… that we are enough, just as we are. It’s so easy to lose our true selves in the performance. We do what we think we ought to do, or what would look good, rather than what we really want to do. We spend more time curating an image than cultivating authenticity. It sometimes seems like it's more important to look happy than to actually be happy!
I confess that I’m glad life has slowed down for everyone, at least temporarily. Even though I’m not a big social media fan, I still occasionally fall prey to comparisons, especially as an introvert who would truly rather stay home much of the time anyway. When I give it care and attention, ordinary life is rich and challenging enough for me. And when I stop trying to be "special," when I stop endlessly ranking myself against everyone I meet or see on the internet, I feel much more relaxed, happier, and (bonus!) more connected to everyone else, too.
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