Compare To Despair

Friday, July 06, 2018

Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

Hello my lovelies! I'm sorry it has been so so long. I hope you understand but sitting the leaving cert and life in general has made writing and finding free time very difficult. Luckily the stress of exams are all over now and I am so excited to get back into writing, creating and hopefully helping others as much as this outlet honestly helps me! Today's post is all about comparison; something of which people of all ages, ethnicities and genders sadly feel burdened by. Comparison is the thief of joy but how can we stop ourselves from destroying our happiness and inner peace of mind?

Here are my top tips on overcoming the comparison complex.

Your uniqueness is your magic.

The Big Picture
'Stop comparing your behind the scenes to everyone else's highlight reels'. I woke up this morning and spent the first fifteen minutes scrolling through Instagram. Within seconds I found myself negatively comparing my body, face, personality, skin, clothes, hair and life in general to boomerangs of cocktails on the beach and perfect pictures of midnight summer swims. My life suddenly seemed so boring, dull and pointless compared to everyone else's! It took me a moment to remember that they are just snapshots, tiny glimpses into a full 24 hours of a person's life. When ever I find myself negatively comparing myself to photos and videos I see online I always think back to a memory I have of a party a few years ago. I remember so many people were there, the very people of whom I would spend my Saturday night's replaying their snapchat stories and wallowing over my perceived pathetic life; where everyone else would be having so much fun living the teenage dream yet there was little me wrapped up with envy and self-pity.  At this party I saw something happen that still replays in my mind over and over as proof that sometimes we don't always get to see the truth! I watched someone ask their friends to do something funny for a snapchat story while they then proceeded to sit back down in the corner editing and captioning it to look like they were having a good time. That person stayed in the corner for almost the whole night and didn't look like they were enjoying themselves, however the next morning when I scrolled through my stories and watched that exact clip, it appeared that they were having the time of their lives! Even I know I am guilty of this, we all are at times yet we still forget to apply that knowledge when we are viewing others. Sometimes what we see isn't always true or accurate. When we zoom out and adjust our focus we realise that sometimes our vision is skewed. We may be comparing ourselves to a false reality thus creating unrealistic and untrue standards of which we feel we must live up to. If we all try to readjust the focus, alter the brightness and zoom out to see a bigger, beautifully truer picture we may just be able to be ok and happy with who we are and what we have.

Keep On Keepin' On
Can't find yourself escaping the comparison trap? What if it's ok to compare but to instead use those comparisons to build us up instead of tear us down? I don't know if this will make sense to everyone and maybe it still is not the best thing to do but I believe it may help us to transcend from the darkness into the light. They're faster than you? Wow what a good motivator to work on your running times. They're unable to pay their rent? Perhaps you could use your superior living conditions to give to those in need! They're able to travel around Europe while you're at home? Why isn't that such an inspiration to save your money! You get the drift. Of course this technique can not and should not be applied to all situations. They're prettier than me, they're skinnier than me, they're lovelier than me...I'll just *something that is really bad for you* then I will finally be like them. I promise you it doesn't work, I've tried it and still sadly find myself doing unkind things to myself everyday in the hope that I'll finally feel enough. It doesn't work. It begins from within not from doing without. 

All Or Nothing
'If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back'. How many times have you found yourself saying 'I wish I could be them/I wish I had their life'? I absolutely and truly believe if you were suddenly now that person you would do anything to be yourself again. Often when we compare ourselves to others, we pick and choose what we want to contrast. We want her hair, his eyes, that person's skin, another person's fortune...the list goes on. We can't cherry pick what we desire from another. If you feel the need to compare yourself to someone, compare everything not just one tiny thing. Perhaps you believe that one person may be societally prettier than you, but are they you? Are they as kind as you? Do they have a family? Can they be completely engulfed by their passions? Are they happy? There will always be someone who is better while simultaneously worse than you when considering all aspects. We are all just doing our best towards creating a happy, loving, fulfilling life. We are all one, neither less than nor above another.

Create V Compete
'You are obligated to understand that you are unique in the world. There has never been anyone like you because, of there were, there would be no need for you to exist. You are an utterly new thing in creation. Your life goal is to realize this uniqueness.' Each human is so unique, different, valuable and undoubtedly impossible to truly compare and contrast. It can be hard for us to really believe this. When we adjust our efforts towards creating instead of comparing, we can recognise that it is very hard to compare anything we ourselves uniquely create. I really love this blog as it is my own. I love writing, photographing and editing this to create a work that is a perfectly uniquely mine. It is perhaps the one thing in my life that I don't use to measure my worth against others as it my creation and expression. Every word, photo and idea is unique to me therefor I have never found or felt the desire to compare it with anyone or anything else simply because there is nothing to compare it to. What is uniquely yours, your purpose, your creation? Perhaps you like to cook your own meals, maybe you like to sing your own songs or possibly you may even paint your own sunsets. There are so many creations just waiting for you to conceive and craft. (I would highly recommend reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert if you are embarking on your creative journey). Through kindling the creative imaginative sparks in your heart, you may just grow to love and accept the beautiful, unique creation that you are.

Self Love
Is it really a peachy blogpost without mentioning self love?! Perhaps its lack is becoming the biggest heartache in our world today. I feel like a fraud when I write about self love and self acceptance. I truly believe that it is the way forward towards ending all pain and suffering yet I personally find it the hardest most difficult thing to comprehend and embrace. If we truly love and accept of ourselves, how could we ever possibly hurt ourselves and wish to be in another body or life? (I have written an in-depth post about self love here). Repeat after me, 'I am worthy. I am beautiful. I am whole. I am loveable. I am enough'. I hope you believe those words to be true for you because they are. You are not worthy of comparison, only true love, happiness and abundance!

Are you a victim of comparison? What do you do to realise your innate value and worth? Feel free to let me know in the comments below or anonymously in the ASK section of my blog (it makes my day getting such kind lovely messages from you, it means the world that these posts are helping people). I hope this post helps you to escape the comparison trap and realise that there was never anything to compare in the beginning!  
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I hope you enjoyed!
lots of love & peace & happiness
Lauren x

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