What happens when we compare ourselves with others? Most often we feel inferior, inadequate, ‘self’-critical, or else superior, puffed up and ‘self’-satisfied, which is of course only inadequacy in disguise. The result? The apparent separate ‘me’ around which all these feelings revolve is enhanced; and consequently so too is the sense of lack, the longing for more, and the fear of losing what we already have.
Imagine every human character as being like a musical instrument, each with their own uniquely crafted shape and size, their own distinctive qualities and sound, all playing together. On becoming fixated with our own ‘instrument’, we immediately start comparing ourselves with others—like a flute that, on hearing the deep resonant sound a cello, imagines its own soft, floaty tones to be unworthy and so longs to become more cello-like, neglecting to recognise its own unique qualities.
But as that fixation begins to ease, we start to appreciate the full, rich texture of the music itself; we start to realise that, in our actual experience, whatever we are that is appreciating is utterly inseparable from every element of the sound, is in fact being this entire symphony of life.
In recognising our true indivisibility there’s no longer any need for comparisons and, paradoxically, we’re set free to celebrate our individuality, to fall in love with all our quirky humanness, and to finally delight in our own sweet song.