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‘Being in awe of’- What does it do to you?

Posted in Uncategorized by Rashmi Datt on August 24th, 2014

Yesterday was the birthday of a person I am in awe of. She is a colleague, one can say, as she is in the same profession; but someone who I regard as being ‘ahead of’ me~ in terms of capability and perhaps in knowing herself. I met her at a retreat where she was my teacher.

So in the morning yesterday, I thought to myself, ‘Let me call and wish her’. But by mid-day the resolve flagged, perhaps I could resort to the much convenient but diluted version of sending her a greeting on facebook. For there was a slight anxiety- What shall I say? After saying hello? What will she think? I didn’t know her THAT well. And, why did I want to call her? To express my affection and regard.

Incidentally the dictionary meaning of to be in awe of is to have mixed feelings of reverence, wonder and fear. So yes, the fear is also there as I have seen her becoming impatient with someone who gets stuck, doesn’t see reason, or is not willing to move on.

So there was this tussle between a spontaneous expression and on the other hand fears of ‘appropriateness’ and being ‘judged’. If one looks at it with logic, it’s a no brainer -there wasn’t that much to lose in making the call. And, it was I who was judging myself.

I also thought about how I (and probably many others) put people in hierarchies. Of less than/ more than: competence; wealth; social status; organizational designations; being well read; articulate; smartness; being well informed; achievements; attractiveness; how well the kids are doing; well dressed (yieeks, how much more superficial can one get!) etc.


Instead of going through life experiences getting caught with reactivity or inadequacy, can we just be present – and observe the phenomenon of the mind making the comparisons. And how gullible we are in believing whatever the mind concludes. Because that what we are comparing with is a the part of the other person which is visible to us from the outside. We don’t know what is their inside story. As Steve Furtick explains, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

The mind likes to make sense of the world by putting things in slots and categories, and then evaluate where the self fits in it. It’s almost a default process to check standards and even raise them. Instead of trying to combat this natural (compulsive?) thinking pattern, what I discovered is -use the comparisons- but with your own past self. Am I a better person yesterday than I am today?

And the truth is that we are all on our own journey of finding the statue inside the block of stone. (Remember Michelangelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”) Instead of worrying about others’ blocks of stone, lets honour our statue within with love and compassion. By just BEING who we are . Without apology or arrogance. Without guilt and shame. In the celebration of our journey of the slowly transforming statue inside.

And yes, I did call her, and had a lovely exchange. And I’m totally in awe of myself!

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