Theodore Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
And boy-howdy is it!
Honestly, I don’t know if it’s perimenopause or turning 51 this Thursday (November 14th) or what, but there’s a WHOLE LOT of comparing going on in my mind.
It’s funny, I wasn’t doing that when I was in Italy for the month of October. I was just walking a scrillion steps a day and eating gelato or something gluten-free and fabulous…
I felt beautiful, successful, powerful, humble, and free.
I came home and was good as gold the first week and then, BOOM! The whole heavy weight of me evaluating me a million times over came crashing down and burying me.
Comparing to friends who’ve done things more wisely with their health or finances.
Comparing to colleagues who have done their business or education smarter or earlier.
Comparing to fellow travelers who take off more easily or freely or live with less worry.
But wait, there’s more…
It’s not just been that.
It’s been crashing waves of REGRET for some of my choices and what I could have done, sooner or better or with more inner peace and freedom.
So freaking painful and not fun.
The funny thing is this: I’m not generally a jealous or comparing kind of person. I mean, I have human moments, but all-in-all, I really don’t want anyone else’s life or money or whatever…
And I loathe when people are jealous of me or compare themselves to me. I always have. It makes me feel so uncomfortable – like they can’t really celebrate me because they’re too busy wishing they had what I had.
I just wanted everyone to feel really happy with their gifts…
And I really wanted to feel happy with mine.
So, I didn’t want you to compare yourself to me
And I didn’t spend my time comparing myself to you.
I learned to really value wisdom, peace, and freedom… I knew and still know that’s where the pure gold is.
Because you can have money or houses and cars and not have wisdom
You can have a successful job or a fancy title and not have peace.
You can have mega talents and tons of opportunity and not have freedom.
My aim is to live in the wisdom, peace, and freedom that is for my life.
And yet… I’ve been feeling those pangs of regret and comparison, lately, and it totally sucks.
What I’ve been reminding myself these days…
1. “Stay in your own lane, Stacey.”
Just like in Driver’s Ed we learned to keep our hands on the wheel and our eyes on the road… if your eyes turn to the right, you’ll eventually start turning into that lane.
Same with comparing.
You start looking at someone else’s life and it takes you into dangerous territory where you start crashing your life energy into other people, places and things.
Plus, it takes you off course of where you’re going.
Which begs the question: Do you know where you’re going? (She asks herself and whoever’s reading this, too…) Because when you have a really strong vision for your life, you don’t tend to turn your head toward someone else’s.
“Stay in your own lane” is my new mantra.
2. “Never compare yourself to someone who doesn’t have an autoimmune condition”
Seriously, I can’t tell you how much this meant to me when it hit my brain a couple of days ago.
Some of the most critical, judgy people who have been in my past (I don’t hang around with them any more) were the people who expected me to do what they did, in the way that they did, with the energy and health that they had.
That is such a monumental amount of bullshit to dump on ourselves.
Because my energy isn’t the same from day-to-day as I am in this relationship with Hashimoto’s.
My energy isn’t the same as yours.
It’s just a fact.
Not only that, our circumstances are not the same:
- Our pasts that we are healing from.
- Our current responsibilities and family commitments.
- Our financial incomes, promises, and future planning.
- Our dreams and desires and pathways to get there.
- Our support team (or drama team) that we call our ‘family and friends’
They are ALL different.
Now, that doesn’t mean we are victims and can’t have the life we want, because I call “bullshit” on that too. I’m not saying we should use our past or our circumstances as an excuse to not rise to our greatest capacity…
I’m just saying we shouldn’t compare our results with someone else when the conditions and commitments we each have are really, REALLY different.
3. “Don’t confuse who you are with where you’re at.”
I know that’s bad grammar but I don’t care: You get it. We have this place in our lives that we don’t like called “Where we’re at” — but we often start bad-mouthing and criticizing who we are at our core.
Here’s the thing: Who we are is our eternal, beautiful, unchanging, timeless essence.
It’s our SOUL. Our intrinsic value and worth of our divine self.
But WHERE we are is temporary and changing. A reflection of progress and process — not permanence.
We shouldn’t throw the “Who we are” baby out with the “Where I’m at” bathwater.
Don’t confuse your essence with your process, Stacey.
And don’t you do it either friends.
As we’re talking about Self-Care this month, please: be kind to you. Stay in your own lane, remind yourself that you are in a different place than anyone else in your life, and please stay as clear as you can that where you are isn’t who you are.
I love you friends. I needed this post as much as you did today.
If you think anyone else around you might need it too, would you share? I’ll take that as a beautiful birthday gift that you’re passing this along in the world.
And we can ALL feel a little more relief and a little more love coming from the inside out.
That’s what I want for everyone in the world.
Sending you a big hug and lots of love,