Competition: Is that all??

“Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.”

General George Patton- I don’t necessarily agree with this quote in full, but I do believe that insecurity is plagued by fear, which causes us to lose our true inner sight (duty) as we are all here for a reason..

Over the past few weeks for some reason competition has been on the forefront of my mind as I have observed it in so many forms.  We are tough about competition from an early age, maybe too early of an age to truly understand the heartache that can follow competition, inner and outer.  However, one thing I know for sure is that competition can make you someone you are not.  Possibly it can ruin the inner depths of your spirit, making more work for you to unveil as an adult.   It is easy to get caught up in what some call “dog eat dog world “.  ” What are the Jones doing?”

There are all kinds of people around us, inventing, achieving, succeeding, but I would never say losing bc that is just a perspective.  However, one thing I know for sure is it is so hard to know who you really are on the inside and where you will make your truth in this world.

Since I have been back to the east coast there is such a different feeling.  Obviously, we have been through a lot this year, so there should be a different feeling.  On a great note my relationship with my mother is amazing, she is my best friend.  I don’t know if I thought that would ever happen.  It has been great to see old faces from the past, but there is just something I just can’t put my finger on.

Living outside of Chicago (20 mins from the Wisconsin border) I have had the opportunity to experience Midwest Nice.  This is a truth and not just a fantasy ideal that people make up to feel better.   I was sharing with a friend that I miss all the programs and connections.  It was simple.  Kids played and explored in open gym, they laughed at the library in reading group and made crafts.  They went to the jungle gym everyday like it was a second home.  The farmers market was like a weekly treasure hunt.  Smelling the sweetness of freshly picked food still rooted with most of its dirt.  As I said, It was just easy and I could see Sawyer in his “rawness”, developing in his own right.

Recently a friend of mine shared a book with me that I am still waiting on in the box with a smile – it is called nurture shock.  It is an early childhood education book, but apparently references the east coast quite a bit for its competitive edge. Comparing 2 years olds at parent teacher conferences and coming down hard.  I laughed as I just had my first parent teacher conference and Sawyer was barely 3 1/2.  He was compared to the four-year olds in his class and the objectives in my mind were so ridiculous.

My friend shared more about the book, but didn’t want to ruin it….needless to say I am very excited to read it as it also had a lot of great ideas for getting past three which has been our challenge.  I am not an expert at parenting and give so much credit to teachers, however, if they are forced to follow a state mandated curriculum then that takes away from creativity and teaching styles.  I would think this would make teaching very difficult and could be the reason that creativity scores are at an all time low.  However, as I said I am not out to offend, but I have heard teachers discussing this so there must be some truth.

One night while I lay in bed thinking about the year we have had, I felt so proud of our family.  We have survived one of the most difficult challenges life can throw at you.  We did it humbly and still have a lot of pieces to pick up, but we do it one day at a time.(trust me there have been many tears along the way)  This gift has offered me the opportunity to peel my truth instead of acting like everything in life is acceptable because “someone” says it is.  Whether it is on a subculture level or much bigger then that, it doesn’t matter.  I am talking about competition in a way that probably a lot of people do not think about it. (inner and outer)

Here has been my recent experience that opened my eyes a bit.  I enrolled my son in soccer at 3, the other kids were four, but they allowed it.  Sawyer is a sweet soul, but much like his daddy he is a rough kid with great amounts of energy…..did I mention the great amounts of energy.  Tad can run circles around me, but I have decided that will change.  I am going to surprise him.  🙂  Maybe not!! LOL

Back to the soccer.  I won’t blame the soccer establishment, but dribbling a ball up and down a turf court for 45 mins definitely will cause problems for a boy like mine, who gets bored easy.  I have to share the funniest thing (I have it on video and once I get a little more savvy I will post it).  There was a kid that was about a year and a half older and he just was egging Sawyer on in so many ways.  So Sawyer must have had some instinct because he began to target him for lack of a better word.  Steal his ball etc.  Well the final moment was when he picked up his ball and threw it behind the partition.  I know I should not laugh, but I couldn’t help it as this child’s mother went to the coach and shared her concern about Sawyer taking too much of her son’s time.  Now the coach was young and had no idea how to handle this so, of course, she spoke to me and labeled Sawyer ( a 31/2 yr old) the problem.  Should there even be a problem, it is kiddie soccer?  It blew my mind right off my head.  Was I watching a college game where most of the kids were scholarship players….don’t think so.  They are supposed to be having fun and learning.  I addressed the mom, she turned red unable to respond to her actions and I hope that she felt ashamed because she should have.    Then I walked away because  during the conversation I realized I was wasting my time, but that inner ego it a tough cookie sometimes especially when it comes to your kids.   If I had a do over card, I would have walked away as it wasn’t worth it.  I saw the future writing, this was that group.  The moms that are helicopter moms and everyone else is wrong, they are the best parents and their kids are genius.  Where there is no winner or loser….we all win.  Now don’t get me wrong I think this is great at young age, however, there must be a point where you introduce winning and losing in a positive way.  I believe when this concept is addressed straight on it is a healthy one.  There is competition, but it is internal to grow and evolve in this case in sports.  To become better, but be humble, to realize that losing is just a facet of picking yourself up and learning.

The other type of competition I was talking about is inner and outer competition.  For example, young girls comparing themselves to Barbie, thinking they are fat.  Allowing their insecurities to grow inside because they see this everywhere in our society (even at the subconscious level) what they are supposed to do, look like.  Everything has started younger and faster and I think the mean girl has taken on a new identity.    Is it our society, working parents, the list could go on and on!  I definitely don’t have the answer or even a bad answer, but what I do know is this transitions into our adult lives.  We begin to see ourselves as not good enough, not amounting to what we want, or there needs to be more.  I know that I spent a very long time in a job bc it held a certain societal standard and reflection financially, but I hated it so how did that serve me?  I would always say “I need this job financially, I am single”….that was a crock!!  So on the inside I felt insecure about what I was doing and almost like a child wanted to fix it and be placed on a plan for success.  However, that is the problem.   We need to have the TOOLS by the time we are an adult to fix it ourselves.  It may not be a quick fix, and it may change and develop as life throws us curve balls.  But and this is a big but, if you don’t do something about it, eventually something will come into your life that forces you to make these changes.  Whether you are so unhappy in your marriage, friendships fall apart or whether “the big guy” above throws a big rock in your path, you need to embrace and change your strategy.  I know that this applies to so many people, as drug companies make billions on depression medications (I am not saying that this is wrong as it builds a bridge to wellness, but many just rely on medication instead of taking the hard look).  It isn’t easy….I was forced to take the look so I get it!

We hold on to our security blankets really tight as if it is all we know.  Being out in the middle of the lake with no life jacket is scary, but you know how to swim (even if you think you don’t).  It is the panic that may cause you to believe you do not know.

So before I go way to far off track, write down some insecurities you developed as a child and set them free.  Don’t compete with people at work, school, or in any fashion.  You are your own person and offer so much to this beautiful world.  I will leave you with a simple example of setting yourself free.  I teach a yoga class and each week women are forcing themselves into these positions and postures instead of taking the offered modification bc they feel it is a sign of weakness and this means that they are not good at yoga.  I believe in taking it to the edge, but if you don’t know where your edge is then you may just fall off.

Much love to you all as we learn together.  I will report on the nurture shock book as I know a lot of moms that are feeling the same way I am!  My friend who shared this with me may also be starting a blog to help with these types of issues and more so if that would be helpful to you, please give me that feedback and I will pass it along.

Many blessings in light,

Holly P

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