You will face tough competition this week!! This line in my weekly horoscope today has set me thinking; thinking about competition in the context of my life today and realising that there is none: no competition whatsoever.
Is it then a zen state of being that I have achieved? A state where I don't feel the need to keep up with anyone, anything or any pretenses. Or is this, as my father would say, giving up? Its neither, its only that I have just let go and become content.
The earliest memory of being highly competitive is from school; class V maybe or even earlier. I had to be the group leader, the class monitor, the house captain, the teachers' favourite and the class topper. No one else fought so hard for these coveted positions as I did losing in the process the chances to befriend several classmates. I was looked upon as the girl who will rat on their pranks and spoil the fun. Going to high school or bada school as we called it, I tamed myself a little and felt the need for good friends so I relinquished some space, but very little in fact too little.
I still had to be the high scorer, the best dancer, the best sports girl, the best instrumentalist, the best speaker, the best this and the best that. Today I understand that many people thought of me as haughty and arrogant. I lost many potential friends and maybe even lost out on the love of my life. I came across as a difficult person to trust and get along with. I realise now that in being unreasonably competitive I held a very narrow vision, I lacked actual ambition. By the time I was in college academics took a back seat. That it was a case of burnout or that in humanities stream I didn't face any competition or may be both , I don't know.
But Hey! There was still a lot to compete for. Relationships took the fore, my friends had to be mine only and there were twinges of jealousy if another pair had a better equation. I couldn't bear to see my boyfriend talk to another woman and felt ignored. The competition now became a complex of the inferior kind. I was jealous, insecure and enclosed myself in my shell. It was misplaced competition, the energy instead should have been utilised for long term gains like a career and a stable income.
As the family grew so did the rat race, better clothes, better shoes, better jewellery, better schools for children, a better house, a better car; all better than THEM. THEM here encompassed all the people around me. I had to be the best. I competed for praise, attention, love and care not knowing that I was bringing friction in my ties. Friends and relatives were wary of me. Some didn't want to involve themselves and some hated me for being good just as I hated them for being better. It became a vicious circle.
To make the best of what you have is good, to strive for improvement in all spheres of life is still better but its destroying when you peg your happiness on being better than others. I have now realised that contentment rather competition is important.
Contentment comes from being able to stand for your loved ones and family. Contentment comes when your child respects you for being a good mother. Contentment comes when my two little nieces tell everyone that they are their aunt's 'Lados'. Contentment comes when all your friends are concerned for you after they read a disturbing status. Last but not the least contentment comes when your life-partner stays by your side and lets you do your own thing but wont do his own thing without you.
So whatever the horoscope might say I know that I have no competition now! I compete only with the self and strive to love it ,nurture it and be satisfied with all the Love that God has showered on me.