“She is so amazing, articulate, beautiful, thin, accomplished, confident” with every recognition of beauty in that person, that object of our envy, we sink further and further in to self doubt and inner criticism. I call these experiences our toxic comparisons.
In my body loathing days I was filled with them – daily. All around me were women I perceived to ‘have it’, the secret to having it all together in the realm of diet and weight management. They looked so cute and put together in their tiny outfits and radiated with confidence. With every observation came more and more reason to beat myself up.
I recently had this familiar experience once again only not about my body but about my work. I was at an event where I surrounded by talented, successful, charismatic and accomplished people who work in my field. Unfortunately, rather than fully and consistently reveling in the delight of being among such an incredible group, I found myself slipping from time to time into that toxic comparison as evidenced by the hollow feeling that would rise up in my belly accompanied by the nagging voice of inner doubt saying “I don’t belong”.
We all get caught up, from time to time, in our false separators believing we are losing the imagined competition we are in with one another. Our comparisons, competition and division blinds us from the truth that we are truly so much more same than we are different. We are all equally intended for love, light, peace and freedom. We all suffer. We all desire peace and joy. Our inner resistance to one another only serves to alienate us further from ourselves because we are also all inextricably connected.
It is wonderful to appreciate aspects of someone else, and it is totally fine to admire the accomplishments they have attained or aspects of their physical beauty but in doing we can not let it diminish our sense of self. We all have an equally powerful life purpose and potential, none greater than the other. What if we believed that? What if we believed there would be immeasurable collective benefit from all of us achieving our highest potential, and rather than feel threatened we could sincerely celebrate one another?
Living in this way is true freedom because we are then free to pursue what is ours and support them in pursuing what is theirs. This is walking in love; holding each other up and we all walk towards joy in our life. This freedom can not be found if we decide that there are a specific few people or a specific type of person we are willing to connect with and the rest we can disown or dismiss as better than or worse than ourselves.
If we are to be truly free we must be committed to offering connection universally. We must commit to recognizing those times we have put up our walls lined with jealousy, judgement and competition and become willing to dismantle them. Above all, we must be brave enough to see and admit to our own beauty and potential irregardless of what is happening in the life of another. Only then are we free. Only then are we living as we are intended to live, as one, as brilliant shining stars, healthy, vibrant and connected.
If you are ready to find peace in your relationship with food and freedom with and in your body join me on The Deeper Cravings Path a 12 week journey to transformation in your relationship with food and your body.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/14061584@N08/4784651500″>Daydream</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>