Especially at this time of the year we can fall into the comparison trap. Whether it's who is getting what for Christmas, or what other's holiday plans look like, what their family dynamic looks like, what someone else's Christmas decorations look like. Or maybe it's reflecting on the year as it's coming to an end and comparing the path that your life has taken in comparison to others. Or maybe it's looking toward the upcoming year and comparing what might lie ahead for you to others.
However you slice it comparison can steal your contentment, your happiness, your joy. Drawing a comparison between ourself, and our life, to that of others is a reflection of our dissatisfaction with ourself.
When comparing our life to someone else's we are drawing a comparison to what our perception is of that other person and their life, which may or may not reflect reality. Comparing is judging, making a determination of what appears to be better than the other. Comparing ourselves with someone else is an inaccurate and irrelevant measuring stick.
Anyway you cut it, comparison doesn't feel good. You either feel like you're on the short end which makes you feel negative about your situation, or you feel like you're on the uptick. Whenever we have to play the comparison game in order to make ourselves feel good, in order to fill a hole within us, by proving that we are somehow bigger and better we end up not filling that hole. It's a never-ending dark hole of dissatisfaction.
At its core judging, or righteousness, comes from a feeling of lack or not being enough. What I lack in myself, I seek to puff up through my judgment. It’s impossible for us to sustain happiness in our lives if we jump into the comparison game.
We all were born unique, different from everybody else in our own splendidly authentic variation. The only masterful creation we have to work with is ourself. It's more productive and useful for us to focus on being the best version of ourself that we can be. I love the saying that the only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.
I also remind myself regularly of the fourth agreement from the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, it states, "Always do your best. Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good."
I invite you to get out of the comparison mode. Instead work on being the best version of yourself that you can be. Instead remember how grateful you are for where you are in the present moment. Instead exercise self-compassion with who you are and where you are in your life. Enjoy the journey with the knowledge that it is your journey and your story, not anyone else's.