It's a seemingly harmless game that we all play. Mindless scrolling through Instagram in search of fashion or other inspiration, or to keep up with our favourite people ends in feeling dissatisfied with life. While on Social Media, we spot that handbag, see the tidy living room, gawk at those happy date night pictures and well-behaved kids looking perfect in their imperfections- and compare it all to ours. The result is often dissatisfaction with life. I found an interesting definition by Iyanla Vanzant: Comparison is an act of violence against oneself. This description cut deep.
You see, last weekend I had the privilege of speaking to a group of female Doctors at a private Spa Retreat. The focus was on health and wellbeing and how we as women need to invest time in looking after ourselves.
I chose to spend an extra couple of days at the hotel so I could spend some time making sure I finish 2019 well. My activities over the two days included a lot of soul-searching and journaling which helped me identify changes I need to make in my life.
One of the changes I adopted was my diet. I've decided to cut out all sugar, and only eat fruit and veg for the next seven days. Of course after day one, I added the word 'try' to my promise, lol!
Part of my activities besides journalling was talking to the girl in the mirror. That was when I noticed how hard I was on myself. My body didn't go off to get out of shape on its own, I neglected to exercise, and I didn't watch my diet. It didn't make sense to be mad at my body. I have never had any issues with my weight, and I don't mean to diminish the experience of those who have, but being mean to oneself certainly isn't the way to go.
Our society encourages polarised opinions. We either love or hate. We identify the unwanted as wrong. It is in politics. If I like one party, I must hate the other. Is it possible to love yourself while renouncing some areas, such as unwanted body fat?
I believe it is. The ability to love yourself even when there are areas you want to change is the point of this post. Iyanla's definition is apt because to compare yourself to another woman, or your life to another's while wishing you had what they had is not fair on your soul. We tend to desire what others have while criticizing what we possess. Instead of craving what she has, how about we first love us, warts and all? Then we can admire what she has without naming it better than ours.
There is another problem with comparison. We are only privy to what they want us to see. The rest, they keep hidden. To desire what someone else has is to desire their hidden problems as well. I truly believe that we each have our path, and on each path, there are blessings and challenges assigned to us. You have everything within you to handle the challenges, and you have every right to embrace your blessings.
When we compare, we miss out on the magic that's going on in our own lives. It becomes difficult to carry on when no one's there for you- since you believe a better version of you could exist somewhere out there.
How have you been affected by or dealt with comparison?
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Thank you for reading. I look forward to reading your thoughts!