Category Archives: Comparison

The Blind Leading the Blind (and they all fall down)

by Mona Dunkin

You’ve heard the story of the blind men describing an elephant.  Each man was exposed to a different part of the elephant and each man described that part of the elephant in keeping with something he was familiar with.  The leg was ‘kinda like’ a tree. The tail was ‘kinda like’ a rope.  According to the poem by John Sykes, each of the blind men were “partly right, yet all of them were wrong.”

Blindness is equated with ignorance; not to be stupid, but something you don’t know. All we have in life is our experiences, beliefs, faith and encounters with things we don’t understand.  Everything we know comes through filters and when our filters are clogged that is just another form of darkness, or ignorance.

One only knows what one knows. Conversely, we don’t know what we don’t know.

In keeping with the Law of Attraction, the blind men married blind wives. The blind wives bought into the perception of the blind husbands. Whether it was genetic disposition or cultural hangover, the blind men and the blind wives produced blind children – and grandchildren who blindly bought into the ‘kinda-like-common-sense” concepts. They believed, bought into and passed on to future generations the distortion of what the elephant looked like and/or who he was.

All of us blindly carry cultural conditionings with us. Not that that is wrong, it’s just limiting.

Although we live in an expanding universe, our day-to-day exposure is mostly confined to the familiar.

perceptionOur comparing place is always working – whether to accurately interpret or to distort. It happens as we try to see what we want to see.  All of our senses bring experiences into our world. We believe what we believe until we believe something different. Or until we see differently.

All we can get from the real world (people, places, things) is information. Information itself is not the problem. How we handle it may be. Same information: one chooses anger, one chooses indifference and one chooses acceptance.  Whether it is a 6 or a 9 depends on one’s point of view. It’s nothing to go to war over.

The moral of this little tale is this. We may unknowingly damage our own health and limit our own happiness by blindly assuming what something (or someone) else is like.

The way we challenge our perceptions is through more information; outward as well as inward. Hearing another’s point of view as well as examining our own wisdom-heart for truth. Look into the mysteries of the universe. Adopt an air of curiosity with no judgment. Push self beyond limited boundaries. Find beauty in life and growth through difficult circumstances. Engage in an empty, hungry, patient outward gaze into the ordinary. And discover there is no such thing as an ordinary day.

Nourishing the Different Parts of Ourselves-Part 2

By Dr. Barnes Boffey

Each of the different sub selves of our personality get nourishment in different ways. The “Cowboy” I spoke of earlier likes free time, lots of fun and some thrill and excitement. Without that, he feels trapped and bored and boxed in, and he can do what anyone does in those situations, act out or depress. Tending to his needs is important in maintaining happiness.

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Other major sub selves for me are my “Artist,” my “Helper,” my “Teacher and my “Warrier.” Some seem pretty obvious, but let me share a few specifics. My “Artist” is the creative, non-linear, poetic, romantic part of my personality. He loves a good book, and listening to fine music, and writing and romance. Where my “Cowboy” wants to see an  adventure movie, my artist wants a love story or an off-beat tale to stimulate and energize. My” Cowboy” wants to drive a car fast, my “Artist” wants to lie on a rug and read poems with a lover.

My “Helper” is the minister inside me; the counselor, the fixer and the compassionate friend and citizen. My “Helper” needs significance, not so much excitement, and he needs to know he is making a difference in the world. He is the one who helps people move houses, and stops to talk with a friend who needs support, and gives what he can to charity. He is dedicated to service and returning the favor for the gifts he has received. He looks forward to situations where people are in need, so he can provide some solace and aid.

My “Teacher” is my central sub-self. He is part helper, but more educator and mentor. He is the one that taught elementary school, and does counseling workshops, and mentors young men and women who need an elder. My “Teacher” is enthusiastic about being an elder in the community and taking on the role of sharing what he knows. My “Teacher” and my “Helper” are more self-less than my “Cowboy.” They get bored when life too self-focused for a long period of time, and they need to get back to work in service to something larger than themselves.

And finally, my “Warrier,” who is the strong and willing to “do battle if necessary” with those who seek to destroy or hurt others or use people or the world badly. My “Warrior” can be seen as a bit scary and sometimes “too much,” but he is a part of me that I love and cherish. He was not understood at all in school, especially by female teachers, and had to find ways to express his strong and often loud feelings and behaviors in more appropriate ways. Of all my sub selves, this is most often the hardest one to find ways to nourish in a world becoming more gentrified and politically correct. “My “Warrier” goes to see an action movie with a bad-ass hero who fights for justice and eventually vanquishes the bad guy.

How does knowing all this help?

The Mirror… Friend or Foe?

Contributed by Denise Daub

weightlossWhen you view yourself in a full length mirror, what do you see?   Do you embrace your body with all your perceived flaws or do you look at yourself with disgust?  Do you take that image of what you see in the mirror with you and let it influence  your choices, your day or your life?  Do you judge who you are by what you see in the mirror?

Maybe you need a judgment-free zone, maybe you need to get rid of the mirror?

Read more…

http://www.refinery29.com/mirrors-self-esteem?utm_source=huffpostlifestyle&utm_medium=syndication&utm_campaign=blog

 

Celebrate you at your best today!

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Too often when I attempt to open an app on my iPad or get my phone camera set to take a picture of one of my grandchildren I inadvertently hit the wrong button. What comes up on screen is a close up, real time image of me. I hurry to make the correction and remove it but not before I catch a glimpse of what I actually look like compared to the picture I have in my head of what I look like.

This is a horrifying experience!

Is this what I look like? Could my hair look worse? The angle brings out every line and wrinkle I’m pretending doesn’t exist. And yet here is reality staring back at me.

This kind of realization and self-evaluation does nothing to improve my Mental Health & Happiness.

Amazingly I’ve had an equal and opposite experience, and I bet you have too. I come across an old photo of me taken ten, or fifteen or more years ago. I almost can’t believe the photo is of me. I look wonderful! And I remember viewing the photo at the time, yet again feeling horrified at how I looked. But I was wrong. I looked good.

I hope you will please confirm for me that you too have had this experience. I’m not the only vain person on the planet, am I? And I can’t be the only person who was at one point dissatisfied with a photo only to realize later how great I actually looked, am I?

canstockphoto13450488I’ll make a deal with you. Let’s take a step to improve our Mental Health & Happiness. How about today we each celebrate who we are and what we look like today. Just remember ten years from now we will look back at ourselves amazed at our beauty. Let’s not wait ten years to celebrate. Let’s celebrate today.

Comparisons are Odious

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

A woman I know walks into any room, whether it is a restaurant, a business meeting, or a family reunion, and immediately compares her size, shape and estimated weight compared to all of the other women. Sadly what she too often discovers is that there are many women who are slimmer, shapelier and seemingly lighter than she. As a result she spends much of our conversations telling me how bad she feels about herself.

If you spend any time listening to the political news you will probably hear how the middle class is “not doing so well.” The top 1% of the wealthiest are becoming even wealthier and the middle is shrinking. If you spend too much time listening to these comparisons you may end up feeling poorer and more financially compromised at the end of the report than you did at the beginning. No money has vanished or appeared in your bank account. But you have been asked to compare your finances with another person’s finances.

Even those many people are aware that comparing who you are, what you do, or what you have to other people is odious. Some of these comparisons end with you being the winner. But eventually you will find someone who beats you taking over the winner spot and leaving you the loser.

If you want to engage in the comparison game, compare yourself with yourself at an earlier age, stage and time. You can also be more discriminating about what you compare with what.

For me, I would rather compare my health now compared to my health a year ago. I want to compare the level of generosity of spirit now compared to a month ago. How is my connection with the important people whom I love now compared to last week? These are the values that are important to me. Engaging in that kind of comparison enables me to change, grow and improve.

Do you spend your time comparing yourself to other people? Are you willing to change and compare yourself with yourself? Your Mental Health & Happiness will improve if you do.