Last week I visited a convention and met with many new people that are walking a similar career path as I am. It was interesting because it revealed a pattern of comparison and inferiority within me. I noticed how I was comparing myself to others, in particular looking at the perceived status and importance of my job in relation to that of others. I had thoughts enter my mind that I should have decided to do something differently and that I should have ventured into a more lucrative and desired career. I should have apparently moved to a bigger city and gotten a job with one of the major employers – because then – I would have been successful.
When these thoughts came up – I took a couple of moments and applied self-forgiveness – and I realized some interesting points. Firstly – I can never really enjoy, explore and expand naturally if I am continuously focused on what others are doing. Because where am I in that equation? I will never be able to acquire a sense of ease, purpose, fulfillment and direction, if my inner vision is blurred by the movements of others. I need to have my eyes set on myself. I need to have my focus fastened in my life – otherwise – I will go astray – and I will start chasing mirages – things I believe to be important but that really are not.
And how many of us live our lives this way? We determine what we want by looking at what others want – and we determine what is important and what is not by looking at what is important for someone else. How can we ever live a meaningful life if we are a copycat?
I have realized that this pattern partly originates from inferiority. Somehow I have determined on a deep level within me that I am less than others – and that I thus need to achieve a position of status and value in the eyes of others in order to equalize that inferiority into a equality. And because I am inferior – apparently I need someone else to tell me and show me what I need to do to reach an equality. It makes no sense at all – and it creates the consequence that I will live my life to reach a point only to prove a point that nobody else cares about – not even myself.
When I chase after an idea I will forget about myself and what is important to me. And to me – on a deep level – I do not care about status – I know it is only a dream. What I care about is being of service to others. I find it enjoyable, rewarding and satisfying to genuinely care for and help someone else with their problem and to be a support for them in difficult times. To achieve a position in society is a learned desire – something that I have copied from others – and when I look at the point intently – I can see that it also has to do about satisfying my parents.
If I look back at my life – a tendency that I have had is to choose my direction haphazardly and mostly by looking at what my parents deemed to be the best route for me. It is not that I lacked interests and passions – I have always had many of those – rather what I lacked was the courage and the self-value to follow my interests and passions – to stick with them and make them part of my life on a bigger level. For example – when I was to choose the orientation of my upper secondary school – I did not look within me to determine my direction. I did not do any particular research. I settled for one of the established schools and choose the orientation that my parents had suggested. And it worked out fine – however – I find it problematic that I did not engage in the decision on a deeper level – and that I allowed myself to be satisfied with the ‘normal’ route that it seemed as if everyone else also decided upon – and that I choose it without any deeper self-reflection.
It is fascinating when I look back – because I can see that one of my issues was that I did not take the time to establish my self-definition. In many respects – I was a blank slate – and in such a condition – it was more comfortable to follow the example of everyone else and do what everyone else seemed to find the correct way to do it. To create my own path would have meant a lot of research and self-reflection – because understanding and seeing what is best for oneself is not something that just happens – it must be created. And if I bring this point of understanding back to my current life – I can see that this is something I have not done for myself. I have not yet established a life-plan – the direction I want to take in life because it is best for me. Creating such a plan would require me to firstly establish my self definition – who I am and who I want to become.
Thus – what I can learn from the reactions I experienced at this convention is that I have not yet clearly established my self-definition. This is something that I will put time into and refine for myself – so that I can stop desiring and wanting what I perceive others want – and instead walk the direction I have decided upon for myself and that I know is best for myself.
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