There is a certain human condition that is pretty messy – wanting to poke our nose into everyone else’s lives. Especially in this day and age when we are constantly surrounded by social media, smiling faces of people’s “perfect” lives on TikTok, Insta, or Facebook. I know a lot of my friends spend a lot of time on these but the outcome I can see is that they end up somehow feeling their own lives aren’t good enough. It’s a disease I know well because before embarking on the spiritual path with Bhakti Marga, I used to feel like that too. Looking at those grinning clown masks on Insta, I would find myself disturbed by it somehow. And then I would ask myself “Why am I taking their supposed happiness so personally?”
It’s actually a habit that we all too often fall into the trap of: comparison with others. And actually even on the spiritual path, it can happen a lot. Maybe because we don’t truly know who we are yet, or what we want from life? So we look to the lives of others. In fact, we seem to enmesh ourselves in the comparison, becoming so entangled in it that we start to feel trapped and suffocated even.
Paramahamsa Vishwananda has often talked about the malady of comparison to others. “Comparing yourself to somebody else, it don’t bring you anywhere. In comparing yourself, you will always be in judgement, yourself towards the others, or others towards you! That don’t help you. Be yourself! If you are yourself, people will appreciate you much more.” Also in His commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, Paramahamsa Vishwananda says “..when there is comparison, you don’t move; you are frozen, you have fear inside of you!”
When we are so fearful it stops us from moving forward with our lives in any meaningful way. I know that it will requite constant effort and that’s not always easy because this is a habit that has become so much a part of normal life for most people including myself. But I know I want to fill my mind less and less with what others are doing/wearing/talking about! It’s just so much pointless noise in our heads right?? So I have been trying to make a special effort to focus less on the comparisons and more on just being me!
Slowly but surely, I am beginning to realise that it’s helping me to be more in the moment and enjoy the little things about every day life. I walk to work lightly, observing my surroundings and feeling life flow through me. I sit on a bench in the park to have lunch and observe people without becoming entangled into what and why they are doing what they’re doing. My mind feels more still… and free! I have spent enough time, probably too much time, letting other people “rent” time inside my head and it’s really done me no favours. It’s time for me to start minding my own business!
Last but not least, if you’re up for a bit of fun then check out this super cool music video from Patrice Roberts…hahaha, it really made me laugh – it’s called – “I go drink water and mind my business!”. I love it! Go on… have a listen. Turn it up, grab a bottle of water and sing it loud 😂.