12 Mar Compared to what? Why do I compare myself to others?
It’s Not About Your Stuff
Why do I compare myself to others?
Of course, we all do it. We waste our time and energy comparing ourselves to other people. We envy their bodies, their cars, their spouses, their homes, their taste in shoes. But what is that doing to us? What does it do to me and my self-esteem when I look at someone else and I compare myself to them, usually unfavorably?
Many of my clients ask me right away, as soon as I walk in the door, “is this the WORST case you have ever seen?” Someone even asked me that the other day!
Here’s the truth: I HAVE seen THE WORST (twice!) and chances are…you are NOT it! It was really bad and I had tremendous compassion for the people who had to live that way. But it got me thinking, really, what does “worst” mean anyway? You can’t really compare yourself or your situation to anyone else’s, because no one else has your skill set, your history, your life circumstances, your budget, your energy level. You can only compare yourself to how close or distant you are from your goal. Anything else is just mind clutter. For real. And mind clutter is the embryonic beginning of physical clutter. It starts with a negative thought whispered in the hallway of your unconscious, a thought that takes root, and you have to make adjustments in your life, subtly, quietly, without ever realizing it, so that you don’t hear that thought. Maybe suddenly you come home and put your mail down, unopened, on the counter because it just all feels like too much and why the *&^% do you have to pay those bills anyway? And then the next day, the same thing. You don’t pay attention to what is happening at first, because it’s not making that much of a difference on the outside, and then, after a while, the pile grows so big that even the thought of confronting it is so overwhelming that you start using your energetic resources to block the fear that comes up every time you pass it. You know there’s things in there that need to be dealt with, you just don’t have the energy to deal with it. THAT takes a lot of energy…
I once asked a friend of mine who was a shrink to psycho-analyze the baffling behavior of an absent-minded family member of mine. He told me something I will never forget. He said, “I see a man so consumed with rage that he uses all his energy suppressing that feeling. He has very little left to attend to the details of the world. Does this sound like you?
What if you actually had that energy at your disposal for doing something creative, like feeling delight and joy and love, instead of using your life force to block out what you don’t want to face? Imagine that.
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ Jessica -:¦:-