Let’s face it, we all compare ourselves to others. Of course its the protective personality that is doing the comparing, not the Soul. The Soul has no need to compare itself to others because it knows that all souls are simultaneously equal in their value and substance and unique in their differences. So while the protective personality is still trying to control things, it’s going to get stuck in making comparisons. Rather than trying to convince the personality to not compare itself to other personalities (which is like telling a cat not to lick its fur)- we might as well learn how to do it right. By right, I mean with the result being that we feel more grateful about our current situation, not less grateful. Feeling less grateful is typically what happens when we compare ourselves to others.
Here’s a little phrase that I like to use to help me feel more grateful when I find myself comparing myself to others. It’s just eight words and helps me to keep my attention focused on my blessings instead of my perceived lack.
“Better than most, not as good as some.”
This is what I like to remind myself whenever I find myself feeling inadequate compared to someone else. I like it because it reminds me that I really do have it better than most- and by most I mean better than 95%+ of all others that have ever lived or that currently share the planet with me. It also reminds me that there is still room for improvement in a positive way. The problem is not comparing per se, but comparing to whom. If we would use our comparing skills to actually compare ourselves to ALL others, we could boost our spirits instead of lower them. The problem is that we rarely compare ourselves to ALL others, but only to a select few others that we perceive have it better than us in some way. But the truth is WE CAN NEVER REALLY KNOW! We can’t possibly know all the challenges, struggles and demons that another person has to deal with. What we are comparing ourselves unfavorably to is always an incomplete picture and often an illusion.
You know how movie trailers often show all the best parts of the movie and make it look appealing, and then you go see it and you’re disappointed because all the good parts were in the trailer? Well that is how it is with others too. We all have our public image our “movie trailer” of the best parts of our life. This is what we see of others when we’re at work, at church, at social events- and it’s this “best of” version of others that we compare ourselves too. We’re comparing their movie trailer with our movie and theirs seems more interesting! So next time you find yourself feeling inadequate when comparing yourself to others- just remember this movie trailer analogy and remind yourself that you have it better than most while still having lots of opportunity for improvement. That’s a pretty healthy place to be at.
Questions to Ponder
In what ways do I have it “better than most” people that have ever lived on this planet? Or that currently share this planet with me?
In what ways is my “movie trailer” that others can see not fully representative of my life? What does that teach me about comparing myself unfavorably to others?