Why do we compare?
Why do we compare? Why we are constantly looking outside for a thing to grasp to validate ourselves and to measure up?
I gave a talk earlier this month on a panel about Mindfulness and Creativity and this is the number one issue: comparison. My (short version) response was that comparison can actually provide us with a lot of information, if we pause to look within and ask questions and investigate.
What’s going on right now?
Why am I jumping to fast conclusions about this person’s situation?
Why am I portraying myself as x or y and using this person as my standard of measure?
If we think about it, it’s crazy we do this, use others to measure ourselves.
It’s a cultural conditioning. Every step of the way we need to prove ourselves, meet the standards. If we are outside of it, we have a feeling of not belonging, which leads us into many different internal ways to find strategies to comfort ourselves (but that is another long topic).
Let’s investigate what happens when we compare. When we look to the outside of people’s lives (especially through the lens of social media) we are seeing a very small portion of their whole reality, their upbringing, their struggles or their hard work, etc…What we pick up from this narrow perspective is coming too from our narrow inner reality, our egoic mind, our contracted state, often it’s the projection from our own repressed feelings that are blocked.
We jump right into conclusion and compare with all the layers inside of us.
The parts of us not yet fully integrated. The parts of us in constant evidence, because we tend to obsess over what is wrong with us, where we are failing, what we are yet not good enough at, etc…The mind takes this information and obsesses over it, emphasizing the parts in us struggling, the parts we fall short, the parts we feel insecure about it, the parts we are trying to hide, using people’s outsides as our measuring standards. It's simply our internal projection comparing, when deep inside all we want is to belong, it’s to feel included, seen.
You see the cycle? We fall over and over because we aren’t aware. We are not paying attention. Even when we are consciously aware we still choose to stay in the “drama”, in the lack because at least this gives us some justifications: we find through people’s outsides a way to justify why we feel not worthy, not enough. We sit there, we scroll down, we feel like “shit” because that’s how the ego works. It will not talk about options, solutions, it will not choose to see the good in you, it will not choose to see what can be done at this moment, it will not choose to investigate more deeply within. It will want you to remain stagnant, feeling so bad about one self. We can live days, weeks, months, years in this place of lack.
Next time you catch yourself comparing, invite the inquiry and the investigation. Try and notice how that might take you to different sensations than the familiar vicious cycle.
Use questions to understand more about you, notice what makes your heart jump when you see someone that sparkles your eyes and inspires you, use the comparison as a ladder to move upwards, to create movement rather than being stuck, to create flow rather than laziness. To see underneath the longings for belonging and love. To create solutions rather than complainings. To open up for acceptance rather than resistance.
This and other concepts are what we are working on EGO: online workshop. This is a 5 day online workshop, you can access from anywhere in the world at your own pace and schedule - it doesn't need to be done in consecutive days. It's a series of practices, guided meditations and texts to support you to expand. $38 More info and sign up here.