The reason for this despair? I began comparing myself and my life to a friend’s who had come for dinner. She was telling me about her loving boyfriend, who is also wealthy and very supportive. Her work is going well, she has money in the bank and seemingly all is going great for her.
Now you’d think that I would be happy for her, and leave it at that. Well, to begin with I was, and actually, I still am. But I’m also human with a mind that gets into toxic and unhelpful thinking when it’s triggered. So when she left, I began to feel my envy rise and the more I thought those destructive thoughts, like, “she has a better life than me, everyone’s better off than me, I’m never going to get a loving partner, I’m never going to have success with my writing, my book will never be published,” the more the tentacles of victimised despair began to pull me down. Ugh.
The next day, I called another friend. She is also in a good place in her life and as I listened to her, I chose to be honest with her about what was going on for me. I shared about my feelings of unworthiness in comparison to my friend of the day before, and in that honesty came my tears at this realisation: I am exactly who I’m meant to be, and I am living the life I am meant to be living today. As soon as I realised that, my gratitude for who I am and the life I have came flooding in. Suddenly I was able to see how beautiful my home is, how lucky I am to have the friends I have, how loved I am by my friends and family. How grateful I am to be the woman I am, and who I actually rather like. How blessed I am to have the money I have, the freedom I have, the health I have, the 5 senses I have that are all in working order. And that’s just now. What about all the amazing experiences I’ve had over the years? The places I’ve travelled to, the people I’ve met. The list goes on.
In comparing myself to her, unfavourably of course, I failed to see what I do have in my own life, and more importantly, the woman that I am and have become through all the experiences I’ve had in my amazing life so far.
Comparing ourselves to others inevitably leads to envy and jealousy. These feelings create such a destructive state of mind. We harbour feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction with our lot, costing us our gratitude for who we are and what we have. Our connection and love towards others is obviously tainted by this toxic attitude, and hopelessness ensues that we’ll never have or be the people we compare ourselves to.
Here’s the irony – you can never be the person you envy, or have the life they have, because that life is already taken! By them! You have your own path, your own life and your own self. And as soon as you accept that fact, and learn to love who you are and what you have, you will not experience peace, gratitude and contentment.
We cannot harbour poisonous thoughts without their effects visibly showing in our lives. If we dwell on our inadequacy and ineffectiveness, guess what, we’ll become that person who is “less than” and give off that vibe to others. Conversely, if you replace those destructive thoughts with hope-filled, optimistic and worthy ones, you’ll likely bring peaceful and confidence-producing circumstances to yourself – you will radiate competence and joy. So next time you find yourself comparing yourself to others, STOP! And tell your mind to change its tune.
Using a Mirror will help you to deepen the experience of this exercise.
Take your time and breathe as you say out loud the following to yourself in a mirror at least once a day for 7 days:
“Who I am is who I am meant to be; the life I have is exactly as it’s meant to be today; I am grateful for who I am and what I have and I am open to receiving what I need, that is for my highest good each day.