Monday, June 30, 2008

Seeking Outside Ourselves

Why is it that I continue to measure myself and my "success" against society's "norms?" In trying to become "content" with myself and measure my self from within, I am working on detaching from seeing myself and valuing myself by what I "own."

I read several places where I never really own anything. I wind up giving it all back when I die.


I was once told by someone who was pretty well off, "not to work so hard, and relax." I said to her, in my usual smart-ass style (I should say my old smart-ass style, although I think I still have a shred of it), "Sure, easy for you to say, give up all your money, and you relax."

Anyway, what's the point? The point is sometimes we or I, are never satisfied. Or just when we solve one problem, there is another one right behind it. Sure this is easy to say when your house is not on fire. But it is rare when our house is on fire. And it is of only these times that I make these points.

So, give up worrying about measuring ourselves against someone or something else. There is always going to be someone prettier, smarter, wiser, richer, more famous, more articulate, and so on.

Seek from within. Measure your self against how you were yesterday. Did you improve? Did you follow your Al-Anon program? Did you keep your mouth shut? Say the Serenity Prayer? Call a friend, ask how they are doing? Ask to lead the Al-Anon meeting? Volunteer? Compliment someone today? Do someone a good turn without being found out?

This just in from Zen writer Senrin; "If you do not get it from yourself, where will you go for it?"

I love Zen. It has this subtle way of kicking you in the buttooski, in a fun, gentle kind of way.

Everything is within you. Do not seek the opinions of others to set the value of your worth. You are whole, and perfect - ALREADY!


Anonymous said...

I recently (because I am soon to be single again) decided to "simplify" my life as much as possible, by choice, not because I had to....

How true is it that we look at self worth through the eyes of others, or what we perceive is how the view us. The kind of car we drive, shoes we wear, ya know the whole routine....

Anyway, it dawned on me the other day, and I shared this with a very good friend of mine just the other day. I said " do your realize that the car I drive, I can't see", I mean really, I can't actually see the car I am driving! So, I guess everybody else gets to enjoy the view, I get the payment.....!

Since selling my condo about a year ago, I leased a big three story townhouse, way too big for me, but at the time was for me and my qualifier. Anyway, the last 8 months it was just me, and as time went by I continued to ask myself, "why do you choose to spend $2200 a month to stay here" The other question was, what do you NEED vs.WANT.

I chose to go back to the basics. I went through my closet and found that I didn't wear 2/3 of what I had. So, along with extra kitchen stuff, and other things I thought I "needed" it all went to a group that supports the homeless, those in "need" that could use what I considered to be trivial "stuff'.
What an eye opener to say the least.

Well, bottom line, I have found peace, contentment, and well being in a 750 square foot apartment, no garage, just simple, clean, and quiet. I am taking this approach in all aspects of my life, and it is so similar to peeling apart an onion, one skin at a time.

It is changing my life, the way I see myself, and the way I view others. It has brought a smile back to my face, that I lost a very long time ago.

It is a very, very cool feeling, that I am beginning to be ok, and happy with myself, and not just my stuff.

Your right on Joe, we can't take any of it with us.

Peace this Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

I keep hold of things not for show, but because I might need them one day.... or at least that's what I think.

My husband is going through a reasonably controlled(!)time at the moment, so my life has taken on a calmer, more secure surface ( though I don't dare look too deeply for fear of reality rearing its ugly head). Suddenly I find I'm sorting out cupboards, clothes and paper work and THROWING OUT STUFF. I don't need to hold on to the "security blanket" of old, known belongings.

I think we (I) need to feel grounded to risk change. So, congratulations to all those who are making big changes in their lives. Well done.