As you read it, I invite you to think about your body as the subject and main focus.
COMPARISON, JEALOUSY AND DISPARAGEMENT by Michelle Bauman
Comparison, Jealousy, Disparagement: I easily get tangled in these spirit-crushing activities when I look out into the world (especially the Facebook world) and I see what other coaches, women and families are doing.
This kind of thinking stirs up my feelings of “I’m less than” or “I’m not enough.” And, in that insecure state of mind, I have an almost compulsive urge to take massive action to “catch up” (and hopefully make that “not enough” feeling go away).
I start thinking about all the things that I “should” do—start a newsletter, get new pictures taken, update my website, write more, take more trips, have more dinners out with friends, and for sure take more pictures of myself having fun, and so on. I judge myself in the name of “catching up” and doing it “right.”
I start driving Carolyn, my business partner, crazy with my urgency about what we are doing wrong!
And, it feels gross!!
As Carolyn and I coach women, I know I am not alone—and often, when women share their goals (e.g., lose weight, make more money, change jobs), we find these goals are fueled by how they compare themselves to others and an assumption that if they were [fill in the blank – thinner, richer, more interesting], they would feel happier and more fulfilled. The desire to take action in an attempt to make that “not enough” feeling disappear is widespread.
Great plan . . . except it doesn’t work!
If our goals are motivated by self-judgment, even if we achieve them, the feeling of “not enough” remains. Robert Holden says it best: “No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of Self-acceptance.”
Part of creating successes that stick—that feels really good inside and out—is learning how to let go of self-judgment and how to listen deeply to what we authentically want to create—apart from what anyone else is doing.
As we learn how to live from a place of self-acceptance, we can create a life that is authentic to us and one that thrills us!
For me, I have found one powerful and surefire way out of the web of Comparison, Jealousy & Disparagement back into my own authentic life . . . it comes through the words of Mother Teresa: “There are no great things, only small things done with great love.”
As soon as I remember this wisdom, I relax. There are no great things. So no matter how great anyone else’s life [or body] looks—it is no greater (or less than) my life, my work, my project. The only variable that matters is love. So, how much love can I give right now to the people right in front of me, [to the body staring back at me], to the work that is here for me to do?
And, then just like that, I’m back in the flow of serving and creating and making the difference that is mine to make. I’m back in the experience of joy and possibility and gratitude. I’ve dropped the unhappiness of chasing after someone else’s life. And I’m back in the beauty of my own.
This is where it gets exciting. If there are no great things, if whatever you choose to do (as “big” or as “small” as it might be) is just as great as what anyone else is doing—if the only thing that really matters is how much Love you pour into what you are doing—where do YOU want to share your great love?