The Moth’s Mistake

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This is about the deceptive nature of comfort. We are all searching for happiness and we often seek it through forms of comfort. Off course for each of us comfort looks different. For some it is found in food,  alcohol or intimacy, for others it is found in work, shopping or entertainment and when we reach for these remedies there is often instant relief but pleasure is fleeting and the lure of comfort can deceive us.

Consider  the way Moths tend to fly towards a flame. To the moth the flame represents the captivating sensation of light so they fly to the flickering glow. But this is clearly not a good choice. The moth seeks comfort but the flame actually causes suffering. And this is what we do. We are pulled towards what appears comforting but it is in fact harmful. We go an a alcohol binge and it feels enjoyable at first but the next day we pay the price. When we are angry at someone we begin to yell at them.  This too might feel good momentarily but it creates a wider rift and deeper hurt.

So it is up to us to use the skills of mindfulness and pay attention to how we respond to this comfort or agitation. We must ask ourselves what do we reach for as comfort and then notice, does our habit actually brings us comfort?  And if so, for how long?  Does that comfort comes at a price of long term suffering?

As Jeff Olson said “your habits operate at the unconscious level. You are not normally aware of them. It’s only by bringing habit into your conscious awareness that you can observe what it is doing. How it empowers and serves you or doesn’t”.

Ultimately we want to bring awareness to the impulses and urges that accompany unease and discomfort. so rather than unconsciously reaching for that old comfort or vice, we can consciously choose actions that serve our deeper happiness and well being.

 

Joy of Living

I was jogging this morning and I noticed a person about half a km ahead. I could guess he was running a little slower than me and I felt good, I said to myself I will try catch up with him.

I had about a km before I needed to turn off. So I started running faster and faster. Every block, I was gaining on him just a little bit. After just a few minutes I was only about 100 feet behind him, so I really picked up the pace and pushed myself. I was determined to catch up with him.

Finally, I did it! I caught up and passed him. Inwardly I felt very good. “I beat him”.

Of course, he didn’t even know we were racing.

After I passed him, I realized I had been so focused on competing against him that I had missed my turn to my house,. I had missed the focus on my inner peace, I missed to see the beauty of greenery around, I missed to do my inner Namasarmarna, and in the needless hurry stumbled and slipped twice or thrice and might have hit the footpath and broken a limb.

It then dawned on me, isn’t that what happens in life when we focus on competing with co-workers, neighbours, friends, family, trying to outdo them or trying to prove that we are more successful or more important and in the bargain we miss on our happiness within our own surroundings?

We spend our time and energy running after them and we miss out on our own paths to our given destination. The problem with unhealthy competition is that it’s a never ending cycle.

There will always be somebody ahead of you, someone with a better job, nicer car, more money in the bank, more education, a prettier wife, a more handsome husband, better behaved children, better circumstances and better conditions etc.

But one important realisation is that ‘You can be the best that you can be, when you are not competing with anyone.’

Some people are insecure because they pay too much attention to what others are, where others are going, wearing and driving. Take whatever you have, the height, weight and personality. Accept it and realize, that you are blessed. Stay focused and live a healthy life. There is no competition in Destiny. Each has his own.

Comparison AND Competition is the thief of JOY. It kills the Joy of Living your Own Life.

Run your own Race that leads to Peace.