Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Know, Comparison is NOT Good...

..but every once in awhile, I catch myself doing it...

I did it this past weekend and have been doing it for almost a week...here's what is going on:

Last week I got a voice-mail on my phone from an old acquaintance that I have not spoken with for sometime now because, when I'm in her presence, I find myself seeing the vast differences in our lives and it's sometimes hard for me to keep from comparing myself to her, even though I know I will never be in her shoes nor do I want to be. However, she is someone who owns a few home properties and here in LA, that is quite an accomplishment, especially for a single woman...but that ownership does not come without some pitfalls which is one of many reasons I'm okay with not wanting to be in those shoes...

 
birthday roses from last year given to me from my dear boyfriend...

At the time, it was getting hard to listen to the strange paranoia that began to creep into her conversations and her fear of "losing everything", though it couldn't have been further from the actual reality of her life. This is when I realized that perhaps I may have outgrown the relationship, but just getting the voicemail this week reminded me of how far I am from property owning or even of being able to afford to even rent a house instead of an apartment and it began to get under my skin...

I know...I shouldn't be comparing myself to others, but I did. =-(

more beautiful roses, just because he knew I wanted them, from my dear boyfriend...

The other instance was this past weekend. I attended a lovely brunch specially hosted for volunteers to a fundraiser which I contributed some artwork for, so I was invited to the brunch. I was looking forward to seeing a friend or two there, which I did, and I met some great creative folks as well.

This brunch was hosted in a beautiful home in a very wealthy neighborhood with an actual waterfall spilling into the pool in the backyard - very posh! There were also some women who were tall and lean and wearing beautiful garments from Anthropologie, which reminded me that I can neither afford nor currently fit into such beautiful clothing and it began to get under my skin...

I know...I shouldn't be comparing myself to others, but I did. =-(

After the brunch I was with my dear boyfriend when the sadness of my situation began to creep in and when I told him what was bothering me he assured me that I looked fantastic for that brunch* and he agreed that my property owning acquaintance has problems of her own that are of her own making and it got me making one other comparision that was a good one for me to make:

I have the best boyfriend a gal could have.

 Yes, my dear boyfriend is special and one-of-a-kind!

I know...I shouldn't be comparing myself to others, but I did! ;)
 
***   ***   ***

I was reading today from blog buddy Kat of I Saw You Dancing and her two posts this week resonated for me. I've been feeling a great deal of sadness lately, for numerous things including the Comparison Game I played this week, as well as certain situations I've written about before, so when I read her proposal:

Perhaps it's time that we developed a new way of accounting for ourselves: one that lays all of our daily micro-achievements on the table and celebrates us for the generous and loving souls we are doing our best to be. 
I can tell you that this was a reminder I really needed to hear and I couldn't have said it better myself if I tried...

Oops...am I comparing myself to others?!? ;)

I think Kat has a great point and I'm going to try to find that new way of accounting so I can feel great in the presence of others that I THINK have things better than me, though I'm sure it's all equal, one way or another...

If I figure out that new method of accounting, I'll be sure to share it with you here!!

How do you keep from playing the Comparison Game?? Have you figured out a new method of accounting that helps you see how amazing you really are? I'd love to hear how you do it =-)

* - isn't my dear boyfriend the best?!?

4 comments:

Fickle Cattle said...

First, your boyfriend rocks. Second, I think trying to keep up with friends is just an unnecessary strain in our lives we are better off without. As long as we're happy, why do we bother comparing ourselves to someone else? :-)

http://ficklecattle.blogspot.com/

I Saw You Dancing said...

Oh dear friend, I totally hear you!
I am a complete sucker for the comparison game and it can range from annoying/unhelpful to vicious/crippling.
Don't be too hard on yourself for feeling this way, Monica. It seems to be an unfortunate side effect of being a deep seeker, and someone who strives to create, to love, to give and to be your best self.
I'm hopeful that seeing where our gremlins from and knowing why they push our buttons can help us recalibrate them into something more productive. Reading this really helped encourage my thinking in this direction:
http://www.thewordcellar.com/blog/2009/8/15/turn-envy-into-inspiration.html
But, as you know, it's something that I can wax lyrical about on my blog and in my journal and to my friends about until the cows come home... but reality is a different matter! :-)
So proud of you for sharing. The more that we share the things that trouble us, the more we see that we're not alone... and surely that lessens the power of these nasty gremlins?
Much love, Kat xx
PS If anyone can turn this new way of accounting into a creative endeavour, it's you!

The Creative Beast said...

Thank you Fickle Cattle for reminding me that it's unnecessary to keep up with other people. Thanks for the link to your blog - love the pile of book son your page background!

Kat, thank you for writing about your sadness as well - it helped me to see that I'm not alone in having these feelings of inadequacy and it reminds me that we all have these feelings; thankfully, they don't have to last long! And thanks for link to the Word Cellar...

I'll be sure to let you know when I've figured out the new method of accounting ;)

littlemisspip said...

The trouble with the comparison game is that often it can help make you feel loads better as well! Sitting on the emotional rollercoaster is part of what makes us human but when I take a step back, and a deep breathe I remember...

I am happy with my life and I live it my way. It doesn't hurt anyone (including myself) and I can be proud of who I am.

Sending you lots of bloggy hugs - as hugs are essentially the part of the equation that always make everything ok. Oh and having a lovely boyfriend :)