I recently met up with a new connection and we were sharing our life stories, the journeys that brought up to that moment of connection, and where we saw our lives moving forward (or at least where we wished our lives were in that moving forward). It reminded me of an old piece I wrote around comparison, which was written immediately after I had gone through an experience of looking at other people's lives through the lens of comparison and seeing only the presentation of themselves rather than the full picture. I'm re-sharing this as I think it is always relevant...
We all do it at some time or another and every so often I catch myself in that fun little game of comparing myself to my colleague, my friend, my lover. It's a downward spiral of looking outside of yourself and playing over that broken record of "I'm not good enough, I'm not as talented as so and so, I'm not as creative as my co-worker, I wish I had that life, she's so much more beautiful than me or he's so much more handsome than me" and so on and so on. Lately I've fallen into this comparison game trap looking at others' lives and seeing what they're doing and what I'm not doing. When we compare ourselves to the outside world, we slowly chip away at our sense of ourselves, our own truth. We move farther and farther away from what we believe to be true about ourselves. We begin to doubt our next step, look to others for how we should live our life instead of creating our own dreams inspired by our own hearts. We begin to slip into a state of sadness for what we don't have rather than being filled with gratitude for what we do have and what our natural talents and gifts are within us. Depression and anxiety can begin to take over colluding our thoughts and actions. This is all happening right now for me. And luckily I have a dear friend who can call me out and say, "you know, I notice this pattern and what it does to you".
We often look at others' "lawns" thinking the grass is greener on the other side. And then we get to their "lawn" realizing that it's actually manicured weeds, there are brown spots that you didn't notice from far away, the soil is crowded with rocks and is dry. There is no room for your spirit to grow and blossom in this "lawn" of someone else's life. When I take a step back and remind myself of this, I am filled with gratitude for the strong being that I am and who I've become. I begin to list all the things I appreciate about myself, all the things and people for which I am grateful and then a sense of joy begins to rise. I begin to listen to that inner voice, that inner sense, that inner truth that is deep within all of us, hidden from those outside messages. This process is not easy and I know that the comparison junkie will come back again. And each time I shoo it away with gratitude, lessening the strength of that junkie to strengthen my own spirit.
Take a moment to pause and consider the beauty that lies within, consider your great talents and strengths that you offer to yourself and the world. Repeat the mantra below or create your own when you find yourself in that comparison cycle.
1. I am beautiful. A bright light shines within and I offer the world unique talents that only I can provide.
2. I am bountiful. All that I desire comes to me in its own time.
3. I am blissful. I am full of joy and am grateful for all that life has offered me, both light and dark.