I am not a super competitive woman, but I find that I compare myself to other women a lot. It isn’t that I need to be better than everyone. I just want to know what you are doing that is working for you. I like you. We’re alike in many ways, but it feels like you are more accomplished. It feels like you are getting stuff done better than me, and I want to know why?
For many years, I have assumed that you have more discipline than me. It’s why you go to the gym more often. It’s why your house is cleaner, and why you have more money. This is my self talk on a light day.
My best friend, a woman I’ve known since we were both 14, is very different than me. She has a graduate degree in business. She has a very good job that pays well, and she has a happy marriage with two healthy kids. I admire her accomplishments so much. What in the world could a woman like that include in negative self talk? What was a woman doing so much right telling herself was wrong?
- She never gets everything done. This makes her unhappy.
- She wishes that she had enough time and money to give 100% to her family, work, home, and friends, and charity. She doesn’t. This makes her unhappy.
- She wishes she could enjoy watching her two children enjoy a movie. She can’t, because she’s worried about what should be getting done during that time. This makes her unhappy.
But wait, she’s getting stuff done better than me. Her mind is tearing it down though. Her thoughts are running the show, and they are providing the entertainment for an ego that chews self-worth like a garbage disposal. But she’s got a Master’s degree, and I’m just a writer with a B effing A degree?! Her laundry smells better. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Her internal dialogue is needling away, just like mine. Where are we while this is happening?
We’re not in there. We cannot experience joy, otherwise known as peace, when we are absent. Imagine your body on the couch. Your family is gathered around for movie night. There is popcorn, a sleeping bag unzipped on the floor, the smell of butter in the air. The kids have wet hair from their baths, and you have a lap full of their bare feet. You aren’t really mom though. Your body is there, an empty tennis ball can. You are the tennis ball. It’s up rolling around the laundry on the bed. Next it rolls down to the kitchen and the dinner dishes. Next it rolls to the bills on the ledge. Next it rolls out to the car that needs to be cleaned out. Next it rolls to the husband that hasn’t truly had your inner goddess in who knows how long. You roll under the furniture and see the dust, the forgotten areas, failures. By the time you’re back in the can, you’ve missed out and fed your ego a seven course meal.
Your self talk is now a tennis ball machine firing other people’s voices at you, those of your family, friends, coworkers. All you wanted to do was watch your kids watch Cinderella. Now you understand that you’ve been rolling all over the place. It’s time to work on staying present. Stay where you are and experience it to its fullest.
Stay tuned for the next lesson: You aren’t even the ball.