Breaking Out of The Comparison Trap
Comparison: we do it in our attempt to measure “How am I doing?”
Comparison is potent since there’s pretty much no aspect of life it doesn’t have the power to touch.
Comparison is the fastest way to give your power away–yet you can choose to retain your inner power and choose to release comparison the same way you can choose to release thoughts via meditation.
Comparison shows up in a myriad of ways: from social media, your bank account, career/business, relationships, dietary choices, leisure time and more.
Comparison divides us and yet it unifies us:
We compare to show we’re different, but really we compare so we don’t feel so alone
“Well, if Jared took 6 years to get his promotion, I guess I’m doing alright, I mean it’s only been four years…” Thought Teddy in his angst of resolving his anxiety about being passed up for promotion again
“Well, I finished that marathon in 30 minutes” thought Mary. Comparison helped her feel like she was still fit enough in amongst competing with people half her age. “I must be alright then” was her inner dialogue.
When we throw away comparison, what do we have left?
We’re left with ourselves. We’re left with our inner barometer that tells us how we’re doing.
Yet it can be a scary place to access because in order to attune to our inner barometer, we need to traverse a few places most of run from:
Emptiness and loneliness–which can basically be summed up in this poem:
Emptiness – I’ve been running from you
But you are Essence – I see it through and through
Loneliness – I’ve misunderstood you
Scattering from thing to thing but no-thing’s true
It’s in the wild unknowing
It’s in the open field of flowing
Awakening to the heart of mystery
Recognizing I don’t know failure from victory
It’s resting in the sacredness of the moment
Even when I’m my greatest opponent
It’s daring to go inside
The only place where our truth can come alive
When we cease comparing we’re able to go inside.
Going inside isn’t easy–there are many hurdles to overcome, namely loneliness and emptiness. At first glance, these are emotions most of us run from. But if you can be with the initial discomfort long enough–you’ll penetrate to your inner barometer that gives you everything you need to know to navigate your way forward.
You wont have to compare or put yourself down or put another down to determine if you’re OK. You’ll walk through your own wild territory to determine if you’re OK.
On this same note–none of us are spiritual robots. Which means from time to time we’ll find ourselves comparing, assessing, and measuring ourselves against standards or other people.
That’s OK. Take that as a cue to remind yourself to go inside.
Just like in meditation: it’s OK if you find yourself thinking. Its ok if you find yourself down a thought-trail that’s derailing you in anger, sadness, boredom, dissociation, or any other emotional experience. The important thing is awareness: catching yourself, and then making a choice to return to the present moment.
The same is true with comparison:
Next time you catch yourself comparing yourself and your journey to anybody else: take that as your cue to pause, shift, and go inside.
Remember that the moment you catch yourself in comparison is the moment of reclaiming your power:
You can give your power away and compare yourself to determine if you’re OK, or you can let the moment of comparison remind you to go inside yourself, navigate your inner wild territory–through the mountains of loneliness and emptiness, where you will find your inner guidance:
You may call it grace, spirit, god, universal wisdom, connection or a deep knowing of how you’re doing.
As you go inside to attune to your inner barometer you’ll know how you measure up. You’ll know if you’re OK. You’ll know if you’re on track.
You’ll be measuring yourself against one question: does your heart, mind, body and soul feel in alignment with your current station in life? Are you where you are meant to be?
When you ask yourself that question, even if times are difficult, there is a silent whisper that will say “This is exactly where you’re meant to be–keep flowing” or you might sense “This current situation is complete, it’s time to move on to the next assignment/the next journey.”
As you maintain your inner stillness and connection you will find yourself knowing your way forward. That’s the power of going inside. It’s something that comparison will never give you.
Comparison may give you momentary relief or angst, but it will never give you true peace or power.
Go inside so that you can step outside with pure confidence–knowing that you’re on track even if you don’t compare to anyone around you.