I realized that I do something everyday that I detest. I want to quit doing it. It's such an unhealthy habit but I'm not sure how to stop.
I was coloring with my granddaughter. Her chubby little hand fisted the crayon and she scribbled away for a few moments. She drew back, her eyes scanning the unrecognizable creation. "It's a horse, Nana," she said with a huge grin on her face. She ran off, paper in hand, showing it to everyone she could.
I hate it, but I know that one day my granddaughter will fall into the same trap we all have. The same unhealthy habit I want to quit.
One day she'll be happily coloring. She'll look at a child coloring next to her. One or the other will start to compare and that's when it starts.
How she feels about what she has created will no longer be internal. Her experiences will be influenced by how she measures up to others. She'll start seeing the world as her competition.
When we compare ourselves to others, some pretty awful things can happen.
If we size ourselves up to someone and we determine we are superior in some way, our egos get a boost. If we continue this over and over again, we can grow our ego to massive proportions. What’s the harm in having a big ego? When you think you are superior to everyone around you, you miss out. You miss out on learning new things - no one can teach you anything, you know everything. You become a person few want to be around. Relationships with others erode.
If we size ourselves up to someone and we determine we are inferior in some way, our ego will take a hit. If we continue this over and over again, we can hurt our egos beyond repair. When you think you are inferior to everyone around you, you stop trying. You miss out on learning new things - no one can teach you anything, you feel inadequate. You become a person few want to be around. Relationships with others erode.
When we see everyone around us as our competition, the world can be an inhospitable place. We can never truly be happy for someone else's success. If they are succeeding, we are falling behind. The cycle continues.
So, I’m going to try to quit. I’m going to try to stop comparing myself to others, as impossible as that goal may be.
I plan to keep my head down and color with abandonment and joy. After all, it doesn't matter how the picture of my life compares to someone sitting next to me, it only matters that I can look at what I've created and smile.