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i have been hard on myself

in my life and yet when i look around,

as you become more clear by releasing

your ideas and your conditioning, of who

you think you are, you see reality

more clearly and this includes

yourself and others

the struggles that i have had

it has been easy to think that i alone

have struggled while everyone else

has been living lives free of

challenges and dysfunction,

doing well, better

than me

acknowledging that

there is no true comparison,

and that comparison is a road

to suffering, as clarity results from

the settling of the silt of the mind,

of so many ideas and so much

conditioning, releasing you,

finally, you gain clarity

not only into yourself

but also into others

you see people who

you thought were doing better

than you, that you once compared

yourself to, and felt bad for how you

hadn't accomplished as much, or didn't

have as much, or weren't as beautiful

you see them now

with more clarity

comparison is unskillful, but

it is also natural, and if we are

to engage in it, we engage and see

that we have actually done better often

than those whom we held

above ourselves

the people i have known

who ate too much, or drank too much,

or isolated too much, or sat in front of a

screen too much, or worked too much, or

slept around too much avoiding intimacy and

wouldn't allow themselves to be loved, in an attempt

to deal with some deficiency, or existential angst, or

dysfunction, or trauma, or some old wound long ago

consciously forgotten which they might mention only

in an offhand way as an occurrence which they had

come to terms with many moons ago, overcome, let go,

released, accepted, and healed as if they weren't trying

to eat their way, or fuck their way, or work their way

to some greater peace, some happiness free

from the suffering they still truly held

or even of

the people who lack intimacy

with themselves and never have had

the opportunity, the gift, the immeasurable

blessing to face one's ravages and the ultimate

obliteration of all that one knows and, in so

doing, getting to know who they are

at their essence, themselves

who can say what is happening here

with definitive certitude, other than there is

this unfolding of conditioning, and the opportunity

for all of us to inquire more fully into what we

have been through, where we are,

where we are going, who we are,

and who we are


no small task

but a wonderful one

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