Let’s be honest, we are all tacitly judging and framing opinions about the people we meet. That is how we learn to relate to other people. We not only see people in the image formed by our opinion but inevitably we compare ourselves to those images. Well, actually we are really comparing ourselves to our own imagination – in other words, our mental-images of people. It is not possible for anyone to know everything about another person’s life. As a matter of fact, how people appear to be to us, may not reflect what they are truly thinking, feeling and going through within them.
What you may not notice is that your mind is projecting its own internal conditions as images of other people. These internal conditions may be your desires, expectations, feelings, beliefs, ideas and ideals. You frame these conditionings upon the world based on your assumption of what is real, good and worthy for you. You may feel good or bad about yourself by comparing the difference. What you are really doing to yourself is that you are setting up an illusionary gap between yourself and your own self-judgements reflected in images of other people. When you feel bad about yourself because of your judgement of what people are and how they are living their life, you are telling a story about yourself that feeds into that illusionary gap of ‘where you are and where you should be’. This gap is your sense of self-lack or self-inadequacy.
You may have already spent years of your life chasing after dreams, just to be like someone else. The whole race was rigged from the start and people get entrapped in the perpetual struggle of becoming like other people, in a world where there is always going to be others living their life differently from yours, which you judge as being better. Often the endless struggling takes its toll on you, in the form of frustration, hopelessness and self-criticism. You lose sight of what is true and unique about yourself.
Only what is true to you can make you happy in life. The sense of lack buries your sense of purpose. You lose your confidence, inspiration and motivation. You simply forget how to be your own self.
I came across this wonderful quote that I do not know who the author is:
‘A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.’
A flower does not need to compare and worry about what the other flowers are doing. It does not make any difference in the life of the flower because all that it needs to do to fulfil its purpose of life is to bloom as itself. This is what makes it beautiful.
Whatever growth and progress you seek in life, do so in a way that is true and authentic to who you are and not worrying if you are keeping up with other people. Do not be trapped in the images of other people. Do not run yourself down and waste your time running after others, it will only turn out to be a wild-goose chase. If you are here in this world, then you are important because nothing comes into manifestation if it is not important to the Universe. The Universe simply wants you to bloom as who you are.
Rakesh Nair (Yogi Rakesh) is a Vedic life mentor and teacher. A lifelong practitioner of Vedic philosophy and yoga, he trained for many years in the authentic Vedic tradition, following the lineage of Advaita teachers. He holds a Masters in Sanskrit studies, apart from a degree in Computer Science majoring in Software Engineering. He is the founder of yogirakesh.com. He specialises in connecting ancient Vedic knowledge to the needs of modern life. He currently teaches and mentors people through online classes.