Competitive Spirit

A competitive spirit can be good and exhilarating, a high-quality fuel which helps you to excel as you present yourself and express your talents and skills in a masterful way, but it also has a dark side. A competitive spirit has you comparing yourself to others and can lead you to a place which places you in opposition of those to whom you are comparing yourself to.

To create positive momentum, the more of us who are headed in the same general direction in concert with each other is far more effective than anyone of us is pushing out ahead without regard of others, or even thinking that someone is not as deserving as you.

When you’re in a footrace with your friend, of course, you want to win. There can be a point, if your skills are well-matched, that you can send out a thought (which is a powerful signal) that your competitor lose balance, momentum, trip, fall, or otherwise, fail.

But if you’re in a race with a friend and a hungry bear, your survival instincts may overshadow your cooperative spirit, when you decide that you do not have to run faster than the bear, only to outrun your friend.

The spirit of competition can come from a fellow believer, non-believers, a thought group, a coworker, family members, unseen influences, and/or even one’s self.

The distinction between cooperation and opposition is extremely important in achieving positive momentum.

Comparing yourself to others can be counterproductive. Admiration is a far superior vantage point than comparison. If you can look at others and truly admire their talents, abilities, growth, success, beauty, and bliss without comparing their state to your own, you are expressing love’s vibration, seeing through the eyes of love.

When you compare someone’s attributes to your own, this can be destructive, creating friction within yourself and leading to self-degradation. It causes you to question yourself and you can find yourself in a state of self-sabotage. When you start to compare and question your own worthiness, your doubt can become realized as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Try to keep on the positive side of the competition spectrum, being supportive of others, and not beating yourself up for comparing yourself to others, or finding egoic superiority when making comparisons. Refrain from judging yourself or others negatively. After all, we are all doing the best we can with what we have. Right?

Even if you are confronted with a highly competitive person or force, view the circumstance with a gleeful heart. Seeing humor in the absurdness of it (without sharing it with your competitor) can take you to the positive end of the spectrum, and find ways to extract all the compassionate joy you can from the scenario, without giving in to the temptation to feel any degree of superiority.

There really is no comparison, because we are all on our own individual paths, each finding our own way to fulfill our life’s purpose, and there is no right way, and there is no wrong way, only each of us having our own experiences along the way.

Often people exert a competitive spirit because of their feelings of not feeling good enough, lack, unworthiness, or suffering from emotional wounds. When you see someone acting out in this way, respond compassionately. See them in their wounded state and bless them. Pray for their healing.

See this as an opportunity to look within. Can you see any similarities between their pain and some latent pain that may be hidden within yourself? You may be surprised what you find hidden within.

Noticing the contrast in someone else can introduce an opportunity for your own personal growth.

It is never about them; it is always about you. Where will you focus your attention?

Focus on you, your metamorphosis, evolution, and expansion.

Seek to live a better life, your best life, and make the world a better place.

Evildoers and Hypocrisy

My mother used to say, “All the deepest, darkest, most dangerous souls hide undercover in churches.” When the secret crimes began to come to light regarding activities covered up by the Catholic church, my mother and millions of other people, felt justified and vilified in their accusations of the church secretly providing safe harbor for evildoers.

As easy as it might be to point your finger at the church, the breaking news is not as dramatic as it may seem, especially with all the drama and exploitation fueling the fire in the media. The news is not so impressive if you look at the facts. Statistics dictate that any group of any size will have a certain percentage of evildoers.

It doesn’t matter where you look. Where ever you look, in religious organizations, educational institutions, State agencies, Government departments, military installations, corporations, businesses, non-profit organizations, or anywhere else where you find a number of people working together, you will find evil.

The Catholic church is an easy target because it is a very large organization but you will find the same percentage of evil in the same proportions per capita just about anywhere.

Why? Because none of us is without sin. Each and every one of us has the potential for evil within.

Some of us fight any tendency toward darkness than others for various reasons.

Some of us, due to early awareness and observation of others engaged in different forms of evil, made a vow to ourselves to not live that kind of life. If that is you, you are careful to watch for signs which might indicate that you may be headed down the wrong road, and you are quick to make adjustments so as not to fall into the trap of evildoing which you are focused on not falling victim to.

For others, maybe they have dipped their toe in the waters of evildoing, have let themselves be overcome by the darkness, then sworn to change their lives, and fight the inclination to engage in this activity of darkness again.

In either case, you have a particular sensitivity to this particular form of evil (due to your vow to avoid it) and you are keenly aware of seeing the potential for this evil in others. If you see someone else break weak and give-in to this evil vice, then you are prone to adopting an aire of supremacy or self-righteousness because you’ve worked so hard not to partake in this type of evil.

You feel justified in judging your brother, and you judge him or her harshly because you would judge yourself just as harshly, and desire to see the offender punished to the highest degree of the law (or might even toy with your own unbridled thoughts of vigilantism, fantasizing about how you might punish the wrongdoer if you were, judge, jury, and/or God).

What you fail to realize, when you are apt not to tolerate much, in this not so far from narcissistic-state, is that as you are pointing your accusatory and judgmental finger at someone, there is someone else who is pointing his or her finger at you who sees the potential for evil in you.

Hypocrisy gets me in an uproar. I’m always quick to notice it in others because I try so hard not to be a hypocrite myself. Yet, every once in a while, someone points out my own hypocrisy (this just happened yesterday by a friend of mine, who is always quick to catch me and point it out to me). And once I feel offended by the accusation (which is my natural first response), I can step back and see even my own hypocrisy. My friend was right. I am a hypocrite.

I couldn’t see it because I was looking for different kinds of hypocrisy in myself and others. Duely noted, I can try to do better next time.

Just a reminder in humility and a reality check for myself that I, being human, possess all the potential for evil as anyone does. All I can do is to be the best person I can be with the tools that I have available to me. I can impose my sense of goodness, or right and wrong, on anyone else, unless to be fair, I allow them to do the same to me.

Though I possess all the potential for evil and hatred, I choose to live a life on the other end of the spectrum in goodness and love to the best of my ability and encourage others to do likewise.

I strive to honor others, where they are at and what they do, offering them the same respect that I desire to receive from them.

Regarding judging others, one of my heroes speaking to a self-righteous judgmental mob accusing a woman of doing evil, said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” ~ John 8:7 KJV

A profound statement that echoes in my heart, when I find myself tempted to point my finger at someone else.

See you at the Recovery from Religious Trauma Event in Olympia, September 21st