Distinction: Discovery vs. Comparion


When my cat Einstein died, I was devastated. He was a 20-pound, lovable, ornery beast who knew what he wanted and when he wanted it. He was a cat with chutzpah. I once saw him being chased by a dog; it was as if he suddenly remembered he had claws. He slid to a grinding halt, turned around, and chased the dog, who ran yelping scared in the other direction. Friends felt honored when Einstein sat on their laps, gracing them with his presence. He was something.      

Six weeks after he died, which in my estimation was too soon to get another cat, I was at a friend’s house who happened to be looking for a home for a kitten she found. This small grey ball of absolute cuteness climbed up my leg, all the way to my shoulders, laid across the back of my neck, licked my cheek, and rested her head next to mine as if to say, “I’ll take this one.” 

Who could resist? She came home with me, and I dubbed her ‘Olivia.’ As Olivia and I were getting accustomed to each other, a neighbor came over to invite me to dinner. “You got a new kitten,” he said. Still reeling from losing my boy, I replied, “Yes, she’s adorable, but she’s no Einstein.” He laughed and said, “You’re in the marvelous stages of discovery,” then went on his way, not realizing the gift he gave me.

At that moment I realized, that as long as I was comparing Olivia to Einstein, we had no chance. I consciously stopped and met the unique creature before me. I discovered her special qualities, got to know her quirks, and fell madly in love with my new girl.

My eyes opened. In every aspect of my life, my mantra became “discovery vs. comparison.” What if, instead of comparing the present to the past or an idealized future, I could discover the beauty and uniqueness of now? What if I could see what’s standing before me instead of trying to squeeze it into a predetermined box of how I think it should be? Of how I want it to be? This distinction allowed me to see what’s working and what’s not working much quicker and act accordingly with accurate information. My life has never been the same. And, it turns out, Olivia stole my heart. Discovery vs. comparison ~ how could it change your life?

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