Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lover gave me "The Compassion Box" for Solstice this year. It's a lovely gift, with a book by Pema Chodron about the Buddhist lojong (or "mind training") practice of working with slogans in meditation (and in life) to become increasingly awake and aware. Pema is my hero when I've struggled with depression, grief, and confusion; I love "When Things Fall Apart". The box also includes a set of lojong cards and a CD with a guided meditation.

So, in my recent struggles, I got out the cards and have been picking one every day to reflect on as I go through my day. I don't (yet) have a formal meditation practice, but I have the cards by my computer at work, where I look at them all day long.

Today's was "Don't Try to be the Fastest", and the commentary on the back says, simply, "Don't compete with others."

It's extremely apropos to my current struggle because I realize that I've been competing, at least in my own mind, with my partner's past, and it's been causing me immense pain. The phrase "Don't Try to Be the Fastest" reminds me that not only is competing with another woman for the affection of a man ridiculous, juvenile, and unfeminist, it's based entirely on my own deep sense of insecurity. That I'm OK with him, I'm OK without him, and that I'm the same as her: a feeling, thinking, struggling human being dealing with relationship and emotion, always confusing at best and horridly painful at worst. Enough of this catfight shit.

I like the idea of not struggling to get ahead, to be the best, to win the man, or to be the one and only in the perfect blissful relationship . I like the idea of just being, not thinking about the race or participating in it. I've always felt like I wasn't ambitious enough in life, I don't have a high-paying job, a McMansion, or many save-the-world credentials, but I have a nice life and wonderful people to share it with and a flexible mind to take it all in.

Who needs to be faster?

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