Comparison is Violence
For some reason human beings are wired to compare. This insatiable need to compare what we have, what we do, what we believe, what we say, and how we feel (and the associated don’ts to this list) creeps into our lives, robbing us of freedom and wreaking havoc in our relationships. I find that most of the time, we simply want to be validated. We want to be understood. We want to be seen. However, this validation is masked in knowledge—knowledge that our viewpoint is right and others are wrong. Take a look. “You wouldn’t understand, you only have one child.” “Oh, my child would never do that.” “Goodness, my children are so much harder than yours.” “If you had been through what I have been through, you would understand.” We’ve all been there. We are in a conversation and one person makes a statement that makes you feel like an ant. And the reverse is true as well. In an effort to have someone recognize our blood, sweat and tears, we put someone else down, hoping just for a moment someone will give us the pat on the back our soul desires.
So what’s the byproduct of this emotional tug-of-war? Suffering. Our words fall flat. We don’t get the pat on the back we desire. When we don’t get the desired validation, we further alienate by comparison—“they just don’t understand.” If we do receive support, we often feel patronized. How do I know this? I’ve been there a thousand times, as the offended and the offender. The mystery in this exchange of comparison is that no one wins—the offended is insulted and the offender’s thirst for validation is anything but quenched. Comparison is violence, violence against self and others. We create war within our relationships and an internal bubbling of wounds within ourselves.
What are we to do? This has been a decade-long process in my understanding of the answer to this question. The answer for me lies in the truth that it’s insanity to compare ones joys and struggles—it only leads to further suffering. One wise man once told me, “It’s not better or worse, it’s yours.” So, my hardships and struggles are not worse than yours, they are mine. Your hardships and struggles are not worse than mine, they are yours. Mine. Yours. We all have a journey, a story, a life filled with ups and downs. We must rest in the truth that we must give ourselves the validation that we need. We must understand ourselves. We must see ourselves. And more than anything, we must recognize that only God can give us the empathy, validation, and understanding which our heart desperately longs.
10/1/2015 08:02:01 am
Love how you write from your heart. God is using your life experiences to help others.
10/1/2015 09:53:17 am
Thank you for your feedback Crystal! I value your support as I know God too has used your life experiences to bless others!
10/1/2015 10:21:31 am
So poignant to call it violence, and it's violence we do to ourselves. And unfortunately we commit this violence thinking of those we are closest to...thanks for the wisdom and insight! You must have really wise people around you...
10/1/2015 04:38:43 pm
Thank you for your profound support! It's amazing how those we do life with can be our best teachers! Yes, I have quite the wise support system! :)
10/1/2015 10:38:40 am
Beautifully written post Asha- comparison is truly damaging, and like you said, only creates havoc as well as isolation. This post is a perfect 'gut-check' as I have the tendency to compare myself to others. It's also a reminder of where my true identity lies and the comfort and freedom that comes from that.
10/1/2015 04:42:39 pm
Thank you so much for your feedback! I'm thankful this post resonated with you. I think we all need this gut check and the reminder, as you said, to be grounded in where our true identity lies.
10/1/2015 03:01:12 pm
Asha, as we have talked about many situations over a cup of coffee or tea, we know that your words of wisdom come from deep within. We don't always know at " the moment " that God is reaching deep within to make us stronger and to learn from that moment. You are giving back to those that get the opportunity to read your blog that God has turned your pain or sorrow into an opportunity to help others. I am so proud of you and your progress and desire to give back in wisdom and love. Forever grateful for our friendship...
10/1/2015 04:45:47 pm
Your support has been a life-line for me. Thank you for your kind words and support. It means the world to me! I am forever grateful for YOU!
10/2/2015 09:32:13 am
10/2/2015 11:14:43 am
Words cannot express how grateful I am that God brought you into my life! You have added such richness to my coaching journey and life. Thank you so much for your support!!!!
10/2/2015 11:15:51 am
The line that stands out for me is, "The answer for me lies in the truth that it’s insanity to compare ones joys and struggles—it only leads to further suffering." This is so true. I cannot wait to reference this truth as I combat comparison. It will be such a strong motivator to stop. Thank you so much Asha for sharing. It's changing lives!
10/2/2015 09:16:28 pm
I am so humbled that you will reference that line when you are struggling with comparison. I am so incredibly grateful for your support!!!
10/7/2015 08:00:31 pm
I couldn't agree more! Thanks for your response!
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It's hard to believe, but I have been in business for almost 7 years! As my business has grown, I have decided to take a break from blog posts and focus my attention on providing specialty services, some of which include Purpose Clarity Coaching, Life Map Coaching, and Enneagram Spectrum of Personality Types Coaching. I have received certifications in each of these areas (accredited certifications for CEU through the Center for Credentialing and Education). While I miss interfacing with you through this blog, I am excited to offer additional services to my clients. Please enjoy my blog archives.
One committed to processing truth, finding light in the darkness, savoring the simple, and living fully.