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Trees and Fishes

“Everybody has genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

   ~  Albert Einstein

I was speaking with someone earlier this past week and they were beating themselves up for not living up to the expectations of …..  Oy!  Tree climbing fish. 

One of the gifts I regularly get following conversations such as these is that personal look inward. Huh. Where am I harboring similar feelings? Similar judgments? Similar behaviors?  

Even deeper is when I look to where and how I am also  judging othersby their tree climbing abilities.  Ouch!  Inevitably, there’s always some one or thing I’m determining to be ‘wrong’….   not ‘right’….. or at least my kind of ‘right.’ 

(Then I may even slip into some additional self-judgment about… judging.  Vicious little circle there, that needs to be nipped in the bud as soon as I recognize what I am doing. Ha!

Instead of “my kind of right,”  I have found that it works beautifully when I focus on “my kind of right for me.” Leave all others out of the equation, especially in the beginning of learning to discern those answers. (Sometimes again and again.) There is a beautiful, calming, ease deep inside when one chooses to do this. At least I have found it to be so.

Meanwhile, because I DO choose to live with and around others, my next caveat is how to create a kindness around myself, and  juxtapositioning this kindness with regard to the ‘them,’ without slipping back into codependency, people-pleasing, fear-of or fear-for, etc., etc.  Delicate balance is required there. 

Your’s, not their’s. 

All I can do, on my side of the street, is explain. Whether they accept … simply understand (or feign understanding) …. resist outright….  what-EV-ver…., that becomes their’s. 

Swim in your own pond.

Psssst…..My next suggestion:  if you have someone in your life doing the-comparison-game at you (even if they are not consciously aware they are doing so)(ahhh; another ingrained habit just like your’s…and mine), go ahead and share the fish story above. Simply refrain from being a baracuda when you do. Ha!
If you’re a tree-climber … climb away. Otherwise, swim deep and wide. Simply choose not to live like a fish outta water.