Commitment, Comparing, and Compassion

January 10th, 2007

Made this as an absolutely last minute entry to Inspire Me Thursday. I picked the word yesterday and tonight after class I did this doodle in my kitty sketchbook of the word. Very colorful, no?

Did I mention, how much I love The Book of Awakening? It constantly makes me think and it makes me want to quote the whole darn thing quite often. Today's passage is about being who you truly are, which made me think of Melba's recent post about comparing herself to others, and of Liz's post about speaking her truth.

"We are born with only one obligation - to be completely who we are. Yet how much of our time is spent comparing ourselves to others, dead and alive? This is encouraged as necessary in the pursuit of excellence. Yet a flower in its excellence does not yearn to be a fish...But we humans find ourselves always falling into the dream of another life."

I've been feeling a bit creatively blocked the last few days. I have sensed that I've been afraid, but I haven't been pushing through it, instead I've made it worse by comparing myself to others. Last night on a stroll through internet-land, I was perusing artist colonies and retreats and then some of their resident artists. I didn't love everything I saw, but some of it, simply blew me away. Like jaw dropping wow. And all the insecurity came rushing in. My critical voice is screaming, "who do you think you are? you have no talent. you suck. you are so full of it." and so on and so forth. and yeah, that didn't make me feel any better.
So this passage was timely.

"...when we compare ourselves to others, we see neither ourselves nor those we look up to. We only experience the tension of comparing, as if there is only one ounce of being to feed all our hungers. But the Universe reveals its abundance most clearly when we can be who we are."

In other words, I am enough. This has been one of my affirmations and I haven't used it lately. Perhaps it's time to start with that one again. I loved this last bit, which reminded me of this post at Caroline's.

"And compassion, sweet compassion, is the never-ending story of how we embrace each other and forgive ourselves for not accepting our beautifully particular place in the fabric of all that is."

This year, along with commitment to my art and my fiansor, I am making a commitment to myself, to be my unique self, to let go of the comparisons, to be compassionate when I fall, and to get back up again.

5 Responses

omg. (((((Leah))))) I look at your work and wish I could do work like that. And you write this and I think: but can’t she *see*? I was somewhere else this morning writing about compassion for yourself, loving yourself…what is it with artists? are we the worst about that? Or are the corporate folks just role playing and underneath they feel it too?

For what it’s worth: your work is amazing. Every last piece of it that I have seen. So I wish for you this year to be able to see your work through my eyes….it will make you very happy.

re your doodle: very colorful, yes! And who wrote that book? I’m still collecting books to buy with my amazon certificate (okay, I’m way past the certificate amount, but look at the $$$ I’m saving with the certificat).

“I am enough.”

That’s a great affirmation, Leah; I’m going to have to bring that one into the fold.


Oh, Leah, isn’t it mind-boggling, how I can look at your art and your blog and think “Wow,” and yet you can’t see how wonderful and inspiring your work is? I don’t know what it is about humans, but we do seem to compare–or maybe that’s only people from our culture? I’m not sure, but I know I struggle with it every day.

I’m going to share these quotes with my 13 1/2 year-old son. He’s at that age where he’s so worried thinking about how others perceive him–we were just talking two nights ago about how I thought the biggest goal for life is to peel away the layers and become who you really are–and how I’m still just peeling away the surface–

On another note, I see you’re reading The Subtle Knife! That book is my favorite of the trilogy. I’ve read them all three times and just love them. I may pull it out to read again, esp. if you’ll share your thoughts on it w/me.

Have you ever read Ishmael or Beyond Civilization by Daniel Quinn? They’re not in the same vein as The Subtle Knife, but are books that have influenced me tremendously…

Commitment and compassion go hand in hand for me right now as I want to keep up with stuff I am committed to, but also need to have compassion for myself when I don’t get everything done…not because I am lazy or uncaring, but just because life is time consuming!

I love all the quotes you share.
You are a bright star for me Leah. Always illuminating the way!


what a wonderful mindset to start the new year. those quotes are so so true (i think i will have to check out that book). ‘I am enough.’ Oh, I too often need to remind myself of this and struggle to believe it!

Wishing you all the best in 2007!

Post a Comment