Thursday, June 7, 2012

Comparison Demon

have you ever been struggling with an issue, picked up a book and laid your eyes upon the exact words that you needed to hear??  i don’t know about you, but this has happened to me many times!

i had been dealing with that pesky old comparison demon.  do you know the one??  the one that gets in your face when others are successful and, instead of allowing you to be happy for their success, catapults you into comparison mode.

whispers messages like, “everyone else is selling their work (or getting published, or getting recognition, or having sold-out workshops….)  what’s wrong with you?” or “look at that person’s work, or blog, or writing, or ideas, or clothes….. blah, blah, blah”.

i mean sometimes i can be really happy for the success of others – no problem at all.  but other times…. i think it’s when others are finding seemingly effortless (yes, i know that’s not true!) success with the exact things that i have tried and tried and failed at that it gets painful for me.   

and i don’t want to be that way – i want to be able to be happy for any success my friends and colleagues are able to enjoy.  i want to move in that direction, but i’m not quite there yet....

 so…. i was just struggling with this very thing and 2 things happened: 

1)   i heard oprah on the radio talking about her experience with the color purple.  how she thought she had not gotten the part she so wanted and was trying to move in the direction of being happy for the actress who had.  the moment she LET GO of her desires and surrendered completely, she found out she actually HAD the part.  very interesting

        2)  i opened “a path with heart” (a book by jack kornfield that i am very slowly reading) and these were the exact next words:   the “near enemy” of sympathetic joy (the joy in the happiness of others) is comparison, which looks to see if we have more of, the same as, or less than another.  instead of rejoicing with them, a subtle voice asks, “is mine as good as hers?  when will it be my turn?" – again creating separation

the perfect words for me to ponder…. and hopefully prompt me to continue to move in the right direction...


  1. i completely understand! it isn't easy to be patient...sometimes i will think that i must be headed in the wrong direction, i mean if it's that hard!! and even when i know this i still don't let go....i hold on with all my might.

    and that's the key i really let go, surrender and trust that all is in perfect order.

    trusting is not always easy tho, but what other choice do we have?

    1. So true, Kathryn, I think it is really the key and the better we get at it, the happier we are!! Thanks so much for you thoughtful comments!

  2. that last picture is magic for me.
    i wonder why i have never felt what you're describing in this post.
    it has nothing to do with the fact i've evolved more. i haven't.
    i have just never had a competitive bone in my body! my father use to try to make me compete. he thought my way was unhealthy i guess and abby-normal! i think he worried that the world would pass me by. i'd be a loser.
    every report card always said the same thing... she seems to live in her own world. she does not apply herself enough.
    what they couldn't understand... i was a happy child. and i'm a happy person now. my favorite t-shirt when i was 4 yrs old was "myrtle the turtle." it was sun-shiny yellow. i still remember it.
    i had been read the story of the tortoise and the hare. i wonder??? !!!

    i personally see your work as so beautiful.
    just sayin'. maybe if others can't see it or appreciate it to the fullest...
    you need some new friends, acquaintences and another audience!!! LOL.
    i know what i've said is no help.
    but always... first of all... remember... be kind to yourself.
    tammy j myrtle

    1. Tammy, I so appreciate your comments and how you have shared of yourself here as well! I am not really competitive either. My husband is always accusing me of this - I think because I am so uninterested in sports and that's hard for him to fathom!

      It just seems I have put my heart and soul into so many endeavors that have ended up going nowhere. At times I am perfectly OK with it and feel that nothing is wasted and I just need to keep moving forward. But at other times, when I get in that mode, it does affect my self-confidence and it is easy for those negative thoughts to spiral.

      I agree about another audience!! I am working on that!! 8)

  3. I totally get where you're coming from. I don't have any words of wisdom but just wanted you to know I am reading your blog and I still am in awe of your talents. ♥

    1. Tricia, I so appreciate that - your support really warms my heart!!


  4. love your photos! i have been keeping up with your blog silently.

    "the power of now" which i am reading very slowly... always presents the right words when i open the book :)

    thank you for sharing the lines from oprah & jack kornfield. have you read "inspiration - your ultimate calling" by dr. wayne dyer? sharing a quote from chapter one:

    "when you are inspired...
    dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be." ~ patanjali

    up and down, round and round we go with our moods and emotions, i too am learning to break away from the cycles being trapped in the low. i find having good "wise" teachers and friends helps.

    much love your way.

  5. Alison, thank you for this! We are always reading from Power of Now and you are so right - it never gets old and every page has such great wisdom... I LOVE the quote and will check out the book! Thanks for visiting... silent or not.... I appreciate it and send the love back to you as well!!


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