Following the launch of this blog I was completely overwhelmed by the responses I received from many of you.  Some of your comments were encouraging, supportive and loving.  Others offered acknowledgement that the subjects of gratitude, acceptance and leveraging the wisdom and guidance of the Universe were important to discuss and share.  Some comments even brought me to tears because of the honesty and love that was conveyed.

A few, on the other hand, were responses of surprise and even shock that I had ever struggled.  These comments got me thinking.  Is this a factor of comparison?

We are all guilty of it from time to time.  We measure ourselves, our families and our lives against those around us.  In some situations this can be a beneficial way to find out what else is possible and to learn from others.  But a lot of the time, comparing ourselves to our friends and acquaintances is a means to justify if we are enough, which most of the time, just makes us feel lousy.

When we do this we are creating what A Course in Miracles calls a “special relationship”.  This is any relationship where we see ourselves as separate and different from another and it implies that somehow we are better or worse than someone else.  This can lead to personal judgements (mostly of ourselves), jealousy, insecurity, and idolization.

This of course, was a major part of my reluctance to reveal my struggles, even when I was at my lowest point.  Today, much of my practice still focuses around letting go of the fear that I will be judged for something I say or do.  The more I am aware of this, the easier it is to see these insecurities for what they are.

This quote from Steve Furlick highlights one of the worst sources of comparison; social media, but it does illustrate an important point.  Often, when we compare, we don’t do it fairly.  Ironically, this quote was shared by a friend on Facebook.

The reason we struggle with insecurities is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” Steve Furlick

Think about this.  Do you ever post your worst moments on your favorite social media sites?  Do you tell the world when you feel overwhelmed or post pictures of yourself wearing your slouchy lounging clothes? Guess what?  No one else does either!

What we usually see of our friends, family and acquaintances at work, play and definitely online are their finest hours.  So why is it that when we compare we put our darkest moments up against the shiniest times of others?

Everyone has had a bad day.  Everyone has their weaknesses and shortcomings.  None of us keep our cool all the time nor do we always look fabulous.  But at our core we are all perfect just the way we are.  We all come from the same Source.

Good Enough
Source: www.nuttytimes.com

Sharing the fact that I had some very dark days was scary, at first, but within hours of putting myself out there I received comments that let me know it was worth it.  People like you letting me know you had been in a similar situation and that support is there if I need it.

So today, I challenge you to be aware of the stories you tell yourself about your friends, family, loved-ones, co-workers, and acquaintances.  Recognize these negative comparisons as just that, comparisons created by you and fueled by your fear.

With thanks,

Melanie

Dare Not To Compare
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6 thoughts on “Dare Not To Compare

  • 25 January, 2013 at 1:21 pm
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    An excellent post Melanie! I haven’t normally replied to your posts, but feel that this one is especially relevant for me. I am probably more guilty then others of these types of comparisons and judgements of my own position in life, but have never stopped to think about what I am really seeing…only their highlight reels. I am not truly examining my own highlight reel when that is what I should really be focusing on. Thank you for taking the time to write this post.

    Reply
    • 25 January, 2013 at 9:36 pm
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      Thanks Theron! It is hard for most of us to not compare from time to time, but you make a great point…we should focus on our own highlight reels instead of other people’s. I appreciate that insight!
      Love,
      Melanie

      Reply
  • 25 January, 2013 at 7:57 pm
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    I really love this post, Mel! It’s beautiful.

    I am actually reminded of the concept of Maya (in Indian religions). Maya means ‘Illusion’ and is “centered on the fact that we do not experience the environment itself but rather a projection of it, created by us.”

    The explanation of Maya goes much deeper than that but that is the basic meaning. And if we relate it to what you spoke of: “Comparisons created by you and fueled by your fear,” we see that our thoughts, our fears, our ideas of how we should be, and how we think we should live our lives are just illusions….created solely by us. Thus we are the ones who create any negativity within ourselves.

    So we must turn inwards. It requires deep look into ourselves, our personal actions, and a self-awareness that can be hard to get to. At times, we simply must surrender. Surrender to who we are in our hearts and soul.

    This blog post is really and truly a beautiful message and gives a lot to ponder. Thank you.

    Lots of love,
    Tracy

    Reply
    • 26 January, 2013 at 7:48 am
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      Thanks for introducing the idea of Maya Tracy! When I think about your definition, it also reminds me that so much of our comparison does not happen in the moment we first experience it, but usually after the fact in our thoughts. As you say in the “projection of it”. This also speaks to our tendency to live outside the present moment.

      I love the advice to surrender – thanks for sharing!

      Love,
      Melanie

      Reply
  • 26 January, 2013 at 4:20 pm
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    Melanie,

    Another fantastic blog! Melanie I have struggled myself with comparing myself to others. I know for me I realized it was extremely exhausting to continually wonder if I measured up…Today bit by bit, I am trying to tell myself I am not here for a long time, so…”this is my year” and I don’t care if anyone thinks I am being silly, unrealistic etc…time to let go of the things, thoughts that don’t serve me anymore.

    Melanie, keep doing what you are doing, you truly inspire me…

    Nathalie

    Reply
    • 28 January, 2013 at 6:03 am
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      Thanks Nathalie! You are absolutely right about “letting go”…it feels so much better than hanging on to stuff that makes you feel bad!

      Love,
      Melanie

      Reply

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