My wish for us all is that we do away with the need to play the comparison game.
Comparing ourselves to others has got to be one of the most counterproductive activities we can involve ourselves in.
Particularly when we follow the “my issues are nothing compared to <insert name here>” rhetoric and dismiss our primal need to look after ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong: comparison can sometimes be a useful and sobering means to realization. For example, if we find ourselves ruminating on something trivial, it may offer us a way back down from ego-land and put things into a more productive perspective.
But when we choose to ignore our needs and well-being because someone else’s story appears heavier on the “things that matter” scale, we all suffer.
Here’s an example: a situation came up in my life recently that had me questioning the stability of one of my jobs. There is a weight to the work I do: it provides a feeling of accomplishment, offers the ability to connect with people and helps provide for my family.
The additional piece is that I am really comfortable where I am right now. So the thought of things changing so abruptly gave me heart palpitations, with the added bonus of my mind wandering to a whole assortment of dark places.
I knew these fear-based instincts needed to be worked on as they weren’t the optimal response.
However, right when this realization came to be, a huge fight broke out between two of my family members. The fight had to do with big picture stuff: a lack of love and respect being shown.
The common denominator of most of these familial issues stems from this, so it’s a familiar scenario, just different time and different details. Regardless, feelings were raw and the aggression was intense. Everything was inflamed, and the flared emotions were no match for anything else that came to light at that time.
And it all occurred at the same time that the rumblings about my job came to light.
So I kept the job-talk to myself. I didn’t tell my husband because he had his hands full. I pushed my concerns to the side because in “comparison” (ugh, I dread typing it) my issue wasn’t worthy of discussion. That was the conclusion I chose to make, when in fact it did require a discussion (right away) about what we needed to do to get ourselves prepped for the possibility that a major change to our livelihood could soon occur.
So what happened next? I left it alone, which was pretty easy to do at the time considering this war that was going on in the background. Suffice it to say, I had a lot of unwelcome distractions.
And then on the morning of the third day of all this negativity, I woke up with a pit of anxiety in my stomach. I felt so uncomfortable in my skin: severe levels of dread and fear that I couldn’t shake off. I was scared because I couldn’t figure out what the issue was right away, which was maddening because normally I am quite capable of sorting myself out by looking inward via yoga and meditation.
But that day nothing worked. I was on the verge of what felt like a total break-down, trying to prep this early birthday celebration dinner for my husband, when tears started to fall, and with them a huge slap in the face realization came: “Woman, you are stressed the hell out by the possibility of losing one of your jobs! You need to talk to your partner about this and handle your shit!”
No outside tantrums are worth ignoring your inner turmoil
I was crying, but I knew they were tears of relief. And I wanted to reprimand myself for not figuring out earlier what was so clear to me in that moment: you cannot put your needs on the back burner because someone else stomps their feet louder.
No outside tantrums are worth ignoring your inner turmoil. So talk about it. Write about it. Read something that might help you handle the anxiety productively.
But whatever you do, do not allow someone else’s issues get in the way of you handling your business.
There will always be distractions. There will always be ample excuses for why we cannot look after ourselves or put ourselves first. Things will not always play out seamlessly and the way we want them to.
But I’m all about the lessons and not letting any part of my journey, no matter how dysfunctional, go to waste. And this week the lesson was this: embrace the act of bravery.
Command your position in this world as a woman who validates her health and wellness requirements.
I will leave you with a poem that inspired me to write today.
Do not believe what you have heard.
Do not believe in tradition because it is handed down many generations.
Do not believe in anything that has been spoken of many times.
Do not believe because the written statements come from some old sage.
Do not believe in conjecture.
Do not believe in authority or teachers or elders.
But after careful observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and it will benefit one and all, then accept it and live by it.
Validate and command your position in this world you fabulously brave, bad-ass beings.