I recently participated in a retreat presented by Serge Benhayon, founder of Universal Medicine. As part of the retreat we discussed comparing ourselves to others in groups, and asked ourselves a series of questions to feel how comparison affects us on a daily basis…
- Why do I compare?
- What intention is behind comparing myself with others?
- How do I actually feel when I start comparing myself to others? Do I see myself as better or less
- What effect has comparison on myself and on the other person I compare myself with?
- Do I feel closer to myself and to the person after comparing, or does this create a distance?
What unravelled from these discussions was that comparison with others is very ingrained in our way of being – it is something we learn from a young age and come to accept as normal.
When I was a child I was not very good at school and for many years carried the belief I was not good enough, that I was not beautiful looking and able to find a partner. So I compared myself to people who were more intelligent, successful, better looking, slimmer and in long-term relationships. In that way I confirmed myself as being less and not as good, and found myself trying hard to fit in and please other people just to be liked and tolerated.
And this continued into my adult life, for example…
I met a woman approximately 7 years ago, and after a few years I could see how much she was taking responsibility for herself and her life (which I didn’t at the time). I compared myself to her and felt I was not as good… and I did not want to feel the choices I had made. Instead of feeling my choices, and in reaction to knowing I had not taken responsibility in my own life, I got jealous and did not talk to her anymore.
A few years later, on another occasion I met a woman whose eyes were sparkling with love and joy; I was blown away by how openly she shared this. I immediately started to compare myself, wanting to go to the issue of seeing myself as less because I did not feel this same level of love and joy in myself. I then stopped myself because I was aware of what I was doing and as a result did not go into jealousy and comparison, which felt beautiful for us both. When I saw her recently, her beauty and openness was astonishing, and now I can feel that I have the same beauty but I used to discount it and did not honor myself in the way I truly deserved.
As a result of these experiences, and from what I realised from these group discussions at the Universal Medicine retreat, I could feel comparing myself to others as a theme in my life – and also that I have compared myself with other women from a young age.
Comparing myself to others stops me from truly connecting with other people. It gets in the way of my relationships – to compare stops me from being loving with myself and with other people.
If we become aware of our patterns we actually have the choice to choose wisely what truly supports us and what does not
I am learning to live in a way that is full of appreciation for myself and my life has changed a lot. I am also now able to appreciate other people in their own unique ways of being and expression, and instead of comparing myself to them or feeling less, I am now inspired by others, which feels joyful and light.
I have come to realise that this way of being – appreciation of oneself – is a healing key for comparison issues and comparing myself to others. The more I appreciate myself, the more I also appreciate others, and the less I need to compare because when I see everyone as equal, there is no one more or less than another, and comparison does not exist.
By Janina Koch, Cologne, Germany
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