Comparison is the thief of joy, right?
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
This quote is often attributed to either Theodore Roosevelt or Christian writer, Dwight Edwards. I’m sure you’ve seen it on Pinterest.
Sometimes I find that scrolling through social media brings up a lot of “stuff” for me. “Stuff” in the form of negative feelings, thoughts, and old stories. I feel resentment, jealousy, even anger at times. I’ve realized that all of these feelings begin to come up because I am comparing my life to the lives that others are portraying on their social media accounts.
I get the whole “highlight reel” thing. I understand that people are posting only the things that they want others to see, which can create a not-so-accurate depiction. But despite my grasp of this concept, my inner comparison continues.
Trying to prevent all of the discomfort, I’ve deleted social media apps from my phone or even deactivated some of my social media accounts. I thought that if I simply abstained from social media, I would no longer experience the feelings of inadequacy or lack that my comparisons were bringing to the surface. This works, but only for a while.
These feelings that I try so hard to avoid don’t just go away. They are still just lying under the surface until something else brings them up. So instead of comparing myself to people on social media, I compare myself to people that I have real interactions with during the day. These comparisons, in turn, only reinforces the fear-based stories of lack.
I know I can’t be the only one who experiences this.
So how do we stop comparing ourselves to others?
I decided to incorporate my desire to end the comparisons into my spiritual practice. Ultimately, the comparisons I was making to others boiled down to my own feelings of inadequacy that needed to be healed.
So I leaned on my spiritual tools and went to my bookshelf. Sure enough, I was led to Miracles Now, a beautiful book of 108 spiritual tools by Gabrielle Bernstein. I flipped through the pages and there it was.
Miracle Message #24:
Whenever you compare yourself to others, simply say this prayer:
“The light I see in them is a reflection of my inner light.”
When we compare, we are perceiving ourselves as separate from others. By saying this prayer, we are reminded of our oneness. This concept also made me realize that the true goal is to become truly at peace with who I am.