In this post on my ongoing Sadhana of Self Love, I am going to talk about the next takeaway from my journey of self healing and self love.
Don’t compare yourself, dear Reader – body, possessions, abilities,family, money, opportunities and even spiritual practice. Dont, never! You will be writing yourself a prescription of misery and discontentment. Unhealthy comparisons sabotage the process of healing. We all have our own individual tender spots where we compare ourselves to others; for me it’s in the areas of body, my abilities and my spiritual practice. What are yours?
The Master urges us, Discover your own truth – and here I am comparing my journey to someone else’s instead of taking pleasure and fulfillment in doing my own thing.
Social media doesn’t help either. Various groups are bustling with who is doing what, going where, meeting whom…and we get sucked into the guilt trap. “Holy Moly! They are doing so much and look at you!” yells the mind and immediately you look askance at your own accomplishments. Comparing yourself immediately invalidates the milestones you have achieved. Earlier what gave you joy now seems insignificant.
Comparison is denying appreciation to the genuine advantages of your life. It is a lack of gratitude; it robs you of conviction and self confidence and makes you question your worthiness. If you must then compare your present self to your past self. Celebrate having come so far. Congratulate yourself for slaying your demons, for overcoming your fears, for conquering your baser instincts. Can you find a little kindness, a little compassion for yourself?
Constantly comparing yourself will leave deep wounds in your psyche and give rise to a sense of inadequacy as we constantly feel that we don’t measure up- we are not smart enough, motivated enough, wealthy enough, thin enough, spiritual enough, good looking enough… worthy enough…the list is actually endless. Fill in your own blanks.
Self growth and unhealthy comparison are non compatible. Unhealthy comparison leads to feelings of shame and self judgement whereas healthy comparison motivates, inspires and mobilises a person to go beyond their limited perspective and conditioning.
No matter how good you get, there is always going to be someone who will be better than you. You must set your own benchmark. If you must, let others’ achievements be an inspiration and not an aim.~ Om Swami
In the moments when the urge to compare arises, I practise the centering and grounding technique from the Mind and Divine series, visit my tijori (safe deposit vault) in my heart centre and count my wealth of blessings. I celebrate my quirks, my idiosyncrasies, my uniqueness. I pat my own back and shout out my own Hurrahs!
Can we compare an asparagus with a banana? Both are equally relevant in their own way! My beloved Gurudev sums it up so succinctly…
When you choose to compare yourself to others, when you determine your own value in contrast to them, when you rank yourself based on someone else’s criteria, you do not add life to your years. In fact, it is more like taking the life out of living; only years remain. Pointless.
Be yourself. Discover yourself.~ Om Swami
PS: My next post is on my takeaway of the importance of slowing down.