Comparison-itis

Struggling with Comparison-itis?

Oh heyyyyy Valentine’s Day! You again? You with your high unrealistic expectations, your sappy gushy marketing, and your outrageously jacked up restaurant prices. I see you, you fictionalized greeting card holiday, you.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE love. And friendship. Being in connection with other humans is one of my core values, it nurtures my soul and is a key part of my self-care menu. Yes, I’m 100% an extrovert, but I also believe deeply that we need each other, that we belong to one another. And cultivating our relationships is how we build empathy and understanding so that we can tear down that which divides us.

But you Valentines Day: you are not the answer. YOU are a trigger for Comparison-itis! Causing good, kind people to look to their left and right and becoming reactive around wanting something that the marketing team decided they should want, instead of being grateful for what they have.

Of course, I absolutely understand the longing for companionship and an intimate partner – I want everybody to have exactly what they desire in life. It’s just that this caricature that bombards us can set off a pattern of comparison that tells us we are not enough as we are. That our life would be vastly improved if only it resembled some picture perfect greeting card.

Here’s what I’ve learned. There is no one way to do life (duh), and while I am very happily partnered up, I will also tell you my beloved and I work hard every day (most of them anyway) at the “happily” part. Coupledom is no panacea, no cure-all for whatever ails. And, it isn’t for everyone, believe it or not.

Does Valentine’s Day trigger your Comparison-itis or amplify an ache you may have in your heart?

If so, here’s what I have to offer to help you find gentleness with yourself. Get still. Sit quietly with yourself and thank yourself for being you: strong and powerful and full of love, just as you are. And when Comparison pulls too strongly on you for you to find stillness, please remind yourself of this truth: Nothing is ever what it seems on the surface. Being a human is challenging and really, you never know what struggles other people, even those who seem to “have it all,” are managing.

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