Friday, June 3, 2011

Who do you wish you were?

Oh the evils of the comparison game. It is a dangerous sport. Nothing can lead us to feeling false quicker. You either put yourself above others, or you trample upon the pitiful creature that you are. So, so sad. And I have to admit, I am the worst offender. Which to be frank is something I had no knowledge of until just recently. Oh, I knew that I compared myself with others. I had no idea to what extent until it was pointed out to me.

I mentioned yesterday that I finally broke down and went to see a psychologist (a fact that is still very difficult for me to talk about, let alone blog about, but I want to share my experience as I think others may benefit from it). I couldn't stop binge eating. I was becoming out of control again. I finally realized that my eating disorder had never gone away, it just shape shifted over the years. It was time to get some help.

During the conversation the doctor pointed out that I was comparing myself to a lot of people. Everything I said was how I wasn't doing this as well as so and so. Or I didn't like doing something I felt I should like doing, like so and so. I had walked into these meetings with the express intent of learning to love me for me. Yet here I was pointing to everyone and declaring myself a failure in their wake.

This great lady stopped me and asked me to tell her about myself. She wanted to know what my interests were. What I have done that I'm proud of. Where my talents lie. So I started in. Within a few seconds of telling her about me I began to tear up. She asked how I felt telling her this. I felt ashamed for having wasted so much of my life not realized how great I was. I felt like I am a decent sort. The kind of person I wouldn't mind getting to know better.

What a waste of time. And yet today, a couple days later, I caught myself comparing the size of my stomach to someone else's. I even felt sad that I'm not a better blogger. I always, always compare my blog to others. I always wonder why I don't have more readers (but I love my readers; you are all so very wonderful). Do you know what I'm saying?

I have homework to write down everything I like about myself. I've been avoiding it. It somehow feels to. . . what's the word. . . conceited? I have this belief that I'm inferior to everyone else. I don't know why or when this began to form. No clue. But I'm either worse or better than others. Which is false.

I wanted to share this story today because I think it illustrates a very stark point: we can destroy our lives by allowing comparisons to be our ruler of worth.

Let's face it, we all do it. It's human nature. I think the trick is to be careful not to allow it to direct our lives or self-worth. As I've started playing the comparison game again this week I've been trying to call to mind my good points anytime I think someone is better. It's helping. Sure they are a better piano player than me, but I am amazing at painting walls. Or something to that effect. It helps.

Be wary however. We aren't trying to tear other people down or make ourselves superior. Rather, we are remembering that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. So do we.

For more on this topic check out this awesome post.

*Image Source*