Theodore Roosevelt said that “Comparison is the thief of joy” Why is it so tough to stop comparing? To stop judging? With mindfulness we don’t try to stop the thoughts of judging, ourselves and others, we only try to notice them.
It makes sense that non judging is the first pillar of mindfulness because it is the first step to freedom from our circling thoughts. Judgements in our mind make it very hard to find any sort of peace. But how do we free ourselves from these judgements? We learn to just be with them. Think of a child when he is swinging or sliding down a slide pleading “watch me! watch me!” This is often what our thoughts are doing. Pleading for us to pay attention to them. But just as we can watch a child swinging or sliding, we would never allow the child to determine our life path.
President Roosevelt, was remembered as being the most instrumental person in creating the national parks. He was someone who lived for conserving wildlife, he physically challenged himself in many ways, but interestingly enough, he was a sickly child. He spent most of his days as a child in bed. What changed with him? How did he develop into such a robust outdoorsman, someone who scaled mountains and spent days upon days in the wilderness? His quote says it all “Comparison is the thief of joy.” He never compared himself to who he had been before.
I know we all think of comparison as something that involves others, but what if you could stop comparing yourself to who you think you should be? What if you could lose the story that has kept you from feeling joy in your life? Stepping out of the judgement does bring us joy, right now in the present moment.
I will be discussing more mindfulness principles like this one at our weekly meditation class this Thursday and would love to see you there. Click here for more information!