The pain of comparison is a crap shoot. Comparing myself to another leaves me feeling inadequate, like I don’t measure up to that ever-distant ideal that it seems I’m always striving for.
But more and more, I’m realizing and noticing how it leads me further and further away from the ideal me. That person that I was created to be. The human being that I, and only I, can be. I don’t say that from a ‘high-and-mighty’ perspective, but from one of awareness. I believe each person was created for his or her own unique purpose, and each of us has our very own gift that only we can give the world. But the more time we spend comparing ourselves to others and trying to change ourselves to be more like them, the less time we will be spending growing into that unique person we are capable of being, and the less of a chance we’ll be able to give the fullness of our gift, whatever it may be, to the world.
And this spans so many areas of our lives. Because of a monumentous (yet self-chosen) move in my life last fall, I noticed several months into my newfound situation a downward spiral. In my new path, I was around many more people than I had been the past few years, and was given far less freedom for the free-thinking I enjoy. And in this span of life, without realizing it, I had begun neglecting myself. I began to not only hear but listen to the many voices of negativity surrounding me. Rather than actively chosing to think my own thoughts, I began accepting their realities as my own, without even knowing it. I was so caught up in the pit of comparison that rather than listening to my heart and following where it led, I was listening and watching those around me, and in a constant state of inner struggle and ever-lackening self-confidence. I was miserable, and rather than listening to my own voice, I was desperately grasping at ideas anywhere I could find them, trying to fix myself.
But the truth is, I already knew how, if only I’d listen.
And listening I am. These words I type are proof of that alone. The healthy, whole foods I am feeding myself once again and the time I am taking to read a good book while on a heart-pumping walk are as well. And I am once again fully embracing the fact that mind, body, and spirit all must be attended to in order for me to best accomplish my work in the world. Ignoring any part of that triangle will throw my world off its axis.
If I listen to the world, however, it will tell me that I’m wrong. But I know better.