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Comparison

Good morning my loves and welcome to day 13 of our Dry January journaling series.


Here it today's prompt:


"What's your relationship with comparison? Do you feel like you compare yourself to others a lot or not at all?"


I was talking to one of my friends the other day and I was asking her how motherhood was going (she has a 10 week old) and without missing a beat she said "I never realized how much I would struggle with comparison, it was never even on my radar before to compare myself to other moms but it's all I do now."


I have never related to another person more. I spent so much of my early months in post partum making sure that I was doing every single thing right and I still felt like a failure. Everywhere I looked, it seemed like everyone had it figured out and I was the one who couldn't handle it.


When I think about, this is how I felt about life in general. I was constantly comparing myself to where I was versus other people instead of thinking about how I was growing in comparison to MYSELF. I was so busy making sure my life looked "as good" as other people's that I never bothered to ask myself if I liked the life I was creating.


Now that I've gotten sober, I've learned this lesson for the millionth time (and definitely not the last):


What is meant for you will not miss you and you cannot be late for your own life.


Comparison is such a fucking liar. Comparison tells you that IF your life looked like that or if your body looked like that or if your wallet looked like that, then you would be happy and safe. But that's not true. Is it possible? Sure. But copying someone else's life won't ensure your own happiness, in fact it will guarantee your unhappiness.


When we form our ideas of what is right for our life through the lens of other people's judgment, we will always miss the choices that light our soul on fire. We will always miss what is for us and only us if we are busy watching what everyone else is doing.


Now that I've been in the sober community for over a year, I get so many comments from people riddled with shame about how bad their journey looks compared to someone else's. What we don't realize when we compare our healing to another person's is that they may have resources and support that we don't have access to and that isn't a moral failing on our part, it's just how privilege and circumstance work.


I think sometimes the comparison thing used to be something I was drawn to because in order to stuff my feelings of shame down, I would end up finding ways in which I was better than the person I was jealous of. This isn't productive either by the way but it did give me some insight into how defensive I can be when I'm a little wounded.


And I finally had to ask myself, is this really who I am? If it takes this much work to present myself to the world, is this who I want to be?


Why do I not feel secure just showing up as myself?


Instead of comparing my life to anyone, I'm working on re-training my perspectives and my thought process when hard feelings come up. When I feel jealous, I try to leave the page or close the app because I know that jealousy is usually a trigger for some unkind thoughts and words. I'm working on unlearning that comparison and jealousy have to be things that send me into a shame spiral.


Instead of focusing on the person on my screen and all the things that they have that I don't, I try to place value on their humanness. I try to remember that EVERYONE struggles with comparison and shame and anxiety and everyone has bad days and good days. And I happened to catch someone's good day or fuck, someone's good 4 seconds that they posted to IG. That doesn't encapsulate their day, their life, or the person themselves. I try to remember that they are a human being just like me and at the end of the day, comparing myself to them won't get me to do the healing work any faster.


I have not always loved who I was but I don't think we get to self love by shaming ourselves. I don't think we can fall in love with our lives by watching someone else's through our windows or our phones. I also don't think we find community by assuming that everyone who has something we want is better than us. When we humanize people who we might be jealous of, we might just make a friend and get some support in all of this.


Comparison is hard. It's normal to notice our differences but those differences are what make you - YOU. Your journey is yours alone and while it's great to have other people along for the ride, be sure and listen for that voice that tells you you're not good enough because you don't have what someone else does. You are whole and worthy just the way you are and if you never changed another thing about your life - you would still be just as valuable.

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