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.
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.