The Comparison Game

Do you catch yourself comparing yourself to others? I know that I do at times. It really is a crazy thing to do because it is like comparing apples to oranges. We may think that we are in the same boat as other people if we are comparing external circumstances but on the inside, we are often very different. From the outside, we may appear to be the same because as humans, we are very good at covering up what is really going on inside of us. We are great at putting on masks and we are great at putting on the show that everything is hunky dory. What makes us all different is what goes on inside of us. That includes every life experience we’ve had, every thought we’ve had and every emotion we’ve felt. Although there is a oneness that connects all of us in terms of where we’ve come from and what we are all a part of, there is also a uniqueness to the essence of each of our souls.
When we compare ourselves, we are judging ourselves based on whether we measure up in our minds. There are no good feelings that come as a result of doing that. Either we feel badly because we don’t feel that we are good enough compared to others or comparing ourselves to others gives us a false sense of being better. It gives us a false sense of power when we think we are better than someone else. But this isn’t true power because it doesn’t come from within us where our own truth lives. What makes comparing ourselves to others so crazy is that we are comparing ourselves to something that we don’t even know is true. We don’t know what is going on inside another person. We are comparing and judging ourselves and others based on what we see and what is being presented to us which is not necessarily the truth.
Michael O’Neill gave this amazing description of what really happens. At the core of each of us is our essence and you can think of that as being a diamond that shines brilliantly and has done since day one. Then all the thoughts, feelings and life experiences we have ever had all get thrown over top of this diamond and obscure it. He refers to this as our shit covering the diamond underneath. Then, what we do as humans, is try to cover this horse shit with pretty nail polish. We try to prettify and make everything look like it is perfect and ok and we are awesome. Here in lies the problem. What if someone is liking me for my nail polish? What if someone falls in love with my nail polish instead of the real me? Then I have to constantly cover up my shit with nail polish. And what if I miss a day of nail polish? Then they will see my shit and might not like me anymore. Makes me tired just thinking about it. What we see of another person may be their nail polish or their horse shit. It may not be their true essence. So comparing ourselves to other’s nail polish and shit really makes no sense at all.
We also have expectations and ideas of how life should be. We have opinions about where we should be at and how far along we should be. This really causes a lot of grief and struggle. What if we don’t measure up? We then beat ourselves up and judge ourselves for not being where we think we should be. Where did these standards and expectations come from? Are they really ours or have we taken them on subconsciously as beliefs that then run our lives? We try to live our lives based on these external beliefs and rules instead of living from our own truth inside of us, instead of living from our essence.
What if we allowed ourselves to be guided through life instead? That doesn’t mean sitting on our duffs doing nothing. It means allowing our actions that we take to be guided from within us. It means taking action on great ideas that we create ourselves instead of living a life based on great ideas that other people have had. Great ideas and insights that other people have had are meant to be guidelines for us. We are not meant to be rigidly living our lives according to insights from other people. We can take from them what is true for us and add our special sauce. We can create our own recipes for life. This requires us to go inward to have our own insights, to connect with our essence and create from that place. I used to constantly look outside of myself for answers about how I should live my life. I am not here to live another person’s life. Someone else has that covered. I am meant to live my life, a life that I create. So judging and comparing myself to other people and how they are living their lives is really ridiculous. It serves no other purpose than to make me feel bad about myself and to keep me small. We are here to share our own unique gifts in our own unique way and that looks different for each person. The life we want to live, that we are meant to live, is right in front of us. It is here right now. We just have to open up and allow it in instead of trying to force and control our way through life.
My invitation to you, should you choose to accept it, is to ask yourself where in your life are you comparing yourself to other people? How does it make you feel? Is it giving you a false sense of worth or an excuse to hide out and stay small? Are you ready to drop the comparison and game and start consciously creating and living your own beautiful life?
As always, much love,

The Stress-free Zombie

A few weeks back, I went through a series of nights where I had very little sleep. My kids and hubby were sick and between nightmares, peeing the bed (not me), coughing fits and having to be up at 5:30, I became super fatigued.

I was driving home from an appointment after 3 nights of this when I suddenly realized that I hadn’t felt the stress response in my body that week. This is how the stress response presents in me: pain and tightness across my mid back, tight and sore neck, tension headache, feeling anxious and feeling like I can’t take a deep breath. Because my central nervous system is sensitized, it doesn’t take much of a stimulus to elicit the stress response in my body so I feel it quite often. Going 3 days without it was a big deal.

I began wondering why I hadn’t felt it for a while and I realized that I was just too tired to be stressed! I literally didn’t have enough energy left to worry or stress about anything. I was rolling with the punches because that is really all I could do. I was letting go of all the little things because I had no energy to address them. Then it hit me how much energy I give up by being in a stressed state. What a waste! Just think about what I could do if I redirected that energy into being creative instead of being stressed.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating being sleep-deprived so you can feel less stressed. In the long run, it is not very healthy. The invitation for me is this; how can I feel less stressed without being a zombie?

I am working on desensitizing my nervous system so that the stress response isn’t triggered so easily. I also started doing yoga again more regularly because I know that I felt calmer and more relaxed in my body after my own 30 day yoga challenge that I did a few months back. I am meditating regularly and connecting with my essence as that is the most peaceful state for me. I am looking at my schedule and simplifying it down to the necessities. Back when I ┬ábecame a mother of two with a toddler and a newborn, the question that really helped me was “Is anyone going to die if I don’t get this done?”. It may sound a little drastic but it really helps give me perspective. I am also voicing all the things that piss me off and make me want to scream before they get to the boiling point where I erupt and spew all over the people around me. And probably the most important thing for me is to be gentle and compassionate with myself. Because our thoughts create our reality, me being judgemental and hard on myself never helps my situation. This experience is yet another reminder for me to practice self-love and acceptance.

Here is my invitation to you should you accept it. Where in your life can you reduce your stress? Is it doing less and being more? Is it shifting your perspective? Is it simplifying? Is it being kinder to yourself? We have the ability to live with less stress in our lives. Are you ready to feel better? I know I am.

Much love,