Our society is full of competition. Competition and comparison causes people stress and is one of the causes of depression. Out of competition and comparison come spite between colleagues in work places. We look at pop culture and see how we don’t measure up to their good looks, fine voices, and persona. We compare ourselves to them. No wonder why people feel down on themselves.
People spite their co-workers with harsh criticism; slander them with false accusations. Low self-esteem stem from some of these things. A source of this can be the deception for one’s need to compete and compare ourselves to others. We want to be more significant and feel important about ourselves. It is one of the reasons why people who fall victim to this, or get tired of this endless wheel of competition end up quitting their jobs and severing their relationships and/or even marriages.
During my recent stay at a spiritual retreat centre, I came across a book by an author of whom I did not know or read from before. My host recommended to visit the library and locate the devotional writings of Joyce Rupp.
“Compassionate One, when I think poorly of myself because I do not match cultural norms of how to speak, think, look, or act, lead me to acknowledge and appreciate the gifts I have been given. Draw me inward to my core goodness. I will sink into that cradle of kindness and gain strength from what has lasting value. Disengage my strong connection to the “rush, push, and shove” approach to daily life. Release in me whatever craves to be the best, to rise to the top, to show off who I am and what I can do. Hush the strong voice of insecurity that steals energy from my spirit. Calm the anxiety that aches to have the spiritual life of another. Lift the darkness from my inner eye so that I see wth gratitude how enriched I am in my relationship with you….”
This is from Prayers of Boundless Compassion, 2018 (p. 6). Rupp is a Servant of Mary, a Catholic spiritual guide, and retreat leader. I very much like her style of writing. This has imagery and is visual and it draws and directs the reader into a spiritual direction. It speaks to me and is well written and draws from her experience. I shared this excerpt as my personal prayer today. I pray to the Lord: Help me seek and trust in your goodness and the fruits of your Holy Spirit. Fill me with more of your compassionate presence, with who you are, and make me more like you, O God.