One of the things I was taught to do when growing up was to compare myself to others. Whether it was the typical thing at the dinner table to eat and appreciate food because not everyone had enough or whether it was within the family dynamic in which I was the only girl and so the comparison was between males and females (and appropriate behavior).
I think that most of us were taught to compare. It can even be a way that a parent or teacher tries to cheer up a child - "ah, yes Sally, that is sad but look at what you have in your life compared to others." or it might be, "okay Ben you might not have gotten this skill yet but you were ahead of the curve learning to ride your bike/walk/another skill." It's like in an attempt to get 'cheered up' and build a false sense of self esteem we are taught to put ourselves in comparison with others. Which, by the way, is a very destructive foundation to build upon. What happens when we aren't the best? Or what happens when we enter into intimate relationships? Or what happens when we are forerunners, creatives, and forward thinkers and we compare ourselves to what has been in the past instead of what we want to create moving forward? Wouldn't it be more helpful if we were taught to value our internal experience far more than external approval or results?
Yesterday during work I had a 10 minute break so I went for a walk. I noticed so many people around me rushing everywhere. Hurrying, and worrying. Isn't that our motto? And in the hurrying and worrying state most people didn't look joyful or happy or like they really felt satisfied with their life. In fact they looked stressed out, dissatisfied, and pissed off. It appeared that so much focus was on the external to do's that internally they were starving. We can actually and literally starve internally when we don't feed who we are, what we want, what we are passionate about. It's like we begin to shrivel up and harden. Ever felt this? Ever witnessed this?
So, back to comparisons. When we take those comparison tendencies and direct them towards our relationships, especially our intimate relationships, forget about it. The results will be disastrous. We will be loosing and so will our partner. Every. Single. Time.
You see, if I am comparing the way I might respond to something versus the way my partner is responding to something it creates a division between us. It's a me vs you or an us vs them mentality. With that division someone has to be right which means someone also has to be wrong. Here's a clue, no one likes to be wrong.
Then, during this comparison exercise I will most likely take sides with myself. I will see how I am a better partner, a better person, have greater skills, take on more responsibility, etc, etc, etc (fill it in with your own patterns). This not only burdens and stresses me out, but also makes it impossible for me to connect with my partner or my partner to connect with me. It's like me against them which then puts them in the mode of precaution and tiptoeing around so they don't get attacked and hurt. Or maybe they go into immediate defense of themselves and offense towards us and they begin to attack us. It gets real ugly real fast either way.
So if I find that what I am doing is better than my partner, I start to feel afraid that my partner is not enough. And oh my gosh how could I stand to be stuck with them forever. Maybe they will just drag me down. Or maybe I'll be unhappy forever. Or perhaps I'll eternally ask if there is someone else better for me out there and feel despair and regret? In the reverse if I start to notice that my partner is better than me at something through the lens of comparison then I will most likely go into a shame response and begin to feel that I am not enough. And oh my gosh if I am not enough no one can love me because I am unlovable. I then give myself two choices, one I can run away and hide because I feel ashamed or two I can hold on so tight to my partner and be so afraid that they will leave me that I end up suffocating them and they feel like leaving.
This is all uncomfortable. Programmed in. To stop us from noticing and holding our power within. It's like we continue to give it away in order to get ahead. This fear state is of course beneficially to a few people at the top of the chain because it makes us a great resource of worried and frantic worker bees. This continues to hold us back. In our careers, our family, our friends, our intimate relationships. Our experience and expression of this life. From living in and from our soul purpose.
Imagine the world and how things could shift and change if the most important thing was peoples internal experience. Imagine if you were the most important thing in your world and your internal experience and feelings were a point of focus and growth? What would you change? Would you have less to do's on your plate and more to be's? Think maybe we could choose our lives more consciously to fit us rather than fit some mold that was not created for us? We could actually make the mold ourselves. Out of our own image, our own desires, our own longings.
Want guidance on your journey to getting to know & love yourself? I'd love to help. Shoot me a message, or go ahead and take the next step and schedule an appointment. The world is waiting for your gifts and talents and your soul/heart/self are longing to be known and loved.