Making Comparisons, Part 2
A teacher in Canada made headlines this week for writing to the Loblaw’s (a supermarket chain in Canada) about the National Enquirer tabloid magazine at the check stand. Arguing that the cover was tantamount to bullying he made a case for removing these publications from places where children can see them.
The cover was the usual drivel about Hollywood celebrities and whose bodies had gotten “less attractive” or “bigger” or… whatever.
And there we go again with the comparisons.
“Heavier” (compared to what it looked like in the past?)
“Heavier” (compared to another celeb that is thinner?)
“Thinner” (compared to you or I?)
These tabloid covers are mean, rude, unforgiving. But…
“Mean” (compared to a different magazine?)
“Rude” (compared to something more polite?)
“Unforgiving” (compared to… ?)
It could go on forever, couldn’t it? Where does it become normal to, instead of letting something or someone stand on their own merits and just *be*, giving it a counterweight, something to compare against?
In the workshop I was at last weekend, at one one point we were tasked with a journaling exercise. Nothing complicated, just a few minutes of writing and getting at our deeper selves. I started writing one thing then to my complete surprise, something else came out.
I remembered chatting with my Grade 10 homeroom/math teacher at his desk. I’ll call him Mr. What. It wasn’t a formal chat, just small talk during a break. I don’t remember how or why but somehow the conversation subject turned to my friend and classmate (I’ll just call her Classy Mate).
Classy Mate and I were good friends and good students with many things in common. Classy was a bit better than me in the math department, though I was no slouch. Back to the discussion with Mr. What – in the midst of talking about Classy, what a nice girl she is, etc. Mr. What says (in a “C’mon, let’s be real here” kind of tone),
“You wish you were her. Don’t kid yourself, you know you do.”
I remember the feeling of shock, shrinking inside, and replying in some kind of mumble. The conversation ended shortly after that.
Writing that out during the journaling exercise I felt a big megawatt lightbulb go off on top of my head: Is this it – is this where *my* wound came from – my source of why I so often make comparisons of myself to other people, judging myself so harshly? Then comparing one thing against another, this person against that… well, yes.
It would be easy to pit myself against Classy Mate and start listing off the things that *I* do/did better than her. But also unfair, she really was a nice girl and not the one that sought to make herself superior.
Even easier to picture Mr. What during kickboxing class, pour my frustration out at his psychic image. Ok I did do some of that and it did make me feel better but if I stopped there I’d still be missing the gift.
Yes, gift. The truth is easier to see when you know what’s not true – and the sharper and more hurtful event stands out clearer, beckoning the light to shine on it and heal the sore.
When I do a medical intuitive healing it’s these memories and “pockets” of disruption in the energy I dig out and clear away. They’re often so buried and repressed the client doesn’t even remember they are there until they’re released, followed by deep relief and surprise that they were hanging on to them.
It’s these very things that are stopping the body from healing and keeping it in a state of pain.
From a personal standpoint, knowing why I am doing something so unconsciously gives me permission to see myself differently. We talk about how awful it is to hold up other people in a critical light, judging them for their appearance and abilities (or lack thereof).
But the truth is, anything you’re doing to another you are doing more harshly, far more unforgivingly, to yourself. So rather than feeling guilty or sheepish for your judgmental side, sorrow for criticisms you might have made, shine a light on why you are constantly putting yourself on your own scales of comparison.
Tare care of yourself and the rest takes care of itself.