I’ve been reflecting on the Oscars and found two different paths of thought. This week we’ll start with “Life is NOT a competition”. From the Super Bowl to the Oscars to the Nobel Peace Prize, it seems our society is constructed as a system of winners and losers and our place in society is based on how we fare in competition. If we lament that life is a “rat race” we must also lament that WE are the rats that built the track! If we desire to have only winners and no losers, we must abandon our dualistic thinking, along with the idea that there is anything to compare our uniqueness against.
Lady Gaga, in her acceptance speech at the Oscars, said it was not so much about winning as just not giving up. What we give up on is being our authentic self and I heard that idea in many speeches. Why do we want to give up? People tell us we are losers. We don’t feel we fit in. The path is difficult.
Unity teaches us we are unique, individualized expressions of Spirit, and we still compare ourselves to others. We try to find some measure outside ourselves to calculate our worth and our success. No one else can be you and you will fail at being someone else. Cher is about ten years older than I am and in my thirties someone asked me, “Do you think you’ll look as good as Cher in your forties?” I responded, “Well I didn’t look like Cher in my twenties so I see no likelihood that I will start looking like her in my forties.”
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta took the name Lady Gaga to brand her performances. We can label ourselves however we like, so long as it is an expression of our authentic self. Our labels should not define us in ways that limit our expression. It is helpful to also remember that our unique expression is of the One Essence we all are. Next week I’ll reflect on the tension between Acknowledgment and Oneness. This week, stop trying to outrun yourself. Life is not a competition. Slow down and enjoy being you.