Skip to content

Lowering our Swords

by Sarah on June 3rd, 2013

Something that I’m becoming more aware of me, and within myself, is competitiveness. It’s one of those topics which people will most probably agree or disagree with quite strongly. Some people believe competition is healthy, and is what gets you ahead in life, others will say it’s all about the ego, and not for them. I think I lie somewhere in the middle.

I can see the value in having a competitive streak in this day and age. In our survival-of-the-fittest-society, ambition and drive are needed to make money, to live a comfortable life, to fight against societal problems, and even possibly to improve oneself emotionally and spiritually. We can use it to make sure that we’re always growing, evolving, and never stagnating. I think the problem comes in when this drive, ambition, or need to be better than others takes over us. That’s when it’s all about the ego, about being right, or stronger, or prettier, or having the more intelligent children. I’ve even heard stories about circles where moms silently compete on whose child’s birthday party is better. Surely there are more important battles to be fought?

(image via vanuax.com)

I think it’s pretty difficult to escape the feeling of wanting to compete. It’s so built into most of us. And like I say, I think if you use these feelings to motivate yourself to grow as a person, to be the best person that you can be, then it’s not such a bad thing. Maybe the way to go about it is to purely compete with yourself. Are you a gentler, kinder, more compassionate person than you were last year? Has your intelligence and general knowledge grown in the last five years? Are you doing more for the environment this month than last?

I think when we compare ourselves to others, though, it just gets dangerous. It’s harmful to ourselves, and those around us. Often it’s just “stuff” in our own heads which no one else knows about it, but the pressure that we feel because of it does us no good. Like for me, as the birth of our second child draws closer, I can’t help but compare myself to other moms who have birthed in the last few years. And I can feel this silent pressure that I’m placing on myself to have a quicker, more calm, more pain-free birth than them. Can you believe it? My competitive streak is actually turning my birth into a battle! Fortunately, I’m conscious enough to take note of this aspect of myself and to say to it, “Competitive streak, you have always been a part of my life. Sometimes you serve me well, and other times you do not. This is one of those times where I feel that you are not serving me or my baby for our higher good, and so I am asking you to please step aside”. And that’s that. Every time I feel myself place pressure on myself in this area, I repeat the same words in my mind, slowly de-activating the power that the streak has over me. And that’s why I love the image I’ve used above. I love how this female warrior has lowered her sword, and is rather focusing on the Light.

There are certain parts of our lives where I think competition should not enter at all, and that’s when it comes to birthing and raising our children. Because ultimately, all that parenting is about is the joy, love, and lessons we learn along the way, and there’s just no measure for that. No way to compare, to compete with others, and absolutely no reason to. If we want our children to grow up as adults who don’t feel the need to be better than others in each little area of their lives, and to know which are the important battles to compete in, then the only way to teach them that is by living it ourselves. 

From → Life's Lessons

  • Zoe

    Well said Sarey I totally agree XXXX

  • Sarah

    Thanks Zo x