I learned an aphorism that circulates the ranks of certain life coaches: “Compare and despair.” It didn’t take me long to add this truth to my list of ten thousand. Whenever I feel unsteady, especially during periods of transition or crisis, I grab my smart phone and get in touch with my Inner Comparinator.
If I’m jonesing for external validation, I seek temporary relief by generating a comparison where I come out on top: “I’m so glad OUR kid isn’t in jail–we’d be better parents than they are.” “Thank goodness I have this prestigious job–we’re so much better off financially.” But this turns out to be a weather vane pointing unfailingly toward the direction of my own fears, rather than toward anything that brings lasting happiness.
If I’m out for a bit of revenge (and clearly not of the ‘living well’ variety), I spit out some venom like “I can’t BELIEVE that bug-eyed freak makes so much more money than I do!” “Why is SHE getting all the attention? I’m better looking AND smarter!” and it inevitably lands me in a pit of jealousy or contempt. I find myself lacking so I whip up some self-inflicted pain.
Eureka! A sneaky way to remind myself that at my core, a part of me thinks I’m just not good enough, because God knows, I’d never just admit THAT out loud.
I know I dishonor my true path when I call on the Comparinator to soothe me. It’s like sending a tweet to the Universe that I’m not ready to fully accept and embrace my true, essential self, or my real purpose. The Universe simply re-tweets it, reflecting my gnarly energy into the cosmos, and revealing the truth about some pain or dissatisfaction I tried to paper over with a 140 character nasty-gram.