I wanted to address a few requests that have come in regarding a MAJOR, MAJOR TOPIC, I think, for women all over the place.... :)
HOW CAN I FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF WHEN EVERYONE AROUND ME IS PRETTIER/SKINNIER/RICHER/MORE CREATIVE/HAPPIER/A BETTER MOTHER/IN A BETTER MARRIAGE/ETC.?!
And, HELLO PRETTY BLOGS! HELLO GORGEOUS FACEBOOK PHOTOS! They have a tendency to start up that damaging script in our heads that says we are not good enough/smart enough/creative enough/skinny enough/desirable enough, etc. There is just so much access to other women & their lives, outfits, homes, parties, etc. And it seems more than ever before, women all over are plagued with comparing themselves to others, all along their self-esteem is deflating.
A dear reader wrote in to say that she struggles to find a balance between tapping into her true identity & worth (mentioned in the post called "Best Beauty Secret in the World") while at the same time, balancing her desires such as...
-Being super model-thin.
-Being the girl with the best outfit at the party.
-Being flirtatious with men.
-Being famous for something.
-Living in a nicer house.
This reminds me of some of the comments brought up in the response to the "Highlights from Alt Summit" post regarding comparing each others' fashion. I know it's so easy to fall victim to this crap whether it is comparing husbands (or lack thereof), the size of your butt/thighs/waist/boobs, comparing children's accomplishments, the success of others, how quickly someone lost weight after having a baby, or even how much of that dessert you finished compared to other women sitting next to you at a girls' night.
Well, I've been thinking a lot about my answer to this reader and my answer to all of you. For starters, can I just say, with all sincerity, that you women....ALL OF YOU....are wonderful. I haven't met a woman yet in my entire life who was not a beautiful human being with either the biggest heart or the best intentions to offer something good to this world. One of my greatest wishes ever is that we can all tap into our worth & end this horribly damaging cycle of comparing ourselves.
I know you can end that cycle.
Because I did.
I finally decided what I REALLY, REALLY wanted out of this life, and I surrendered to it. Completely. I gave all of my heart to it. (By the way, I decided to do this when I was at the most rock bottom state of my life - in the midst of a crumbling marriage and the early years of infertility.)
This is what I decided I wanted the most & clung to it for dear life:
1. To be a good mother someday.
2. To be a good wife, worthy of a good husband.
3. To share & give all that I have to helping others on their path.
4. To leave this earth a better place for being in it.
5. To be happy & at peace, regardless of circumstance (cause it helps me to do all of the above.)
6. To try to represent those Divine qualities of love/faith/hope (cause it helps me to do all of the above.)
I realized that if I let all that comparing bull crap infiltrate my thoughts & life, then it would hold me back from having #1-6 of my most important goals. You see, the bull crap doesn't fit into #1-6. So I decided to work each day to give it up.
So how did I give it up? LOOOOVE ! :) :)
-THINK OF OTHERS, INSTEAD OF YOURSELF. When I walked into a room - whether it was a room full of billionaires & their wives (a situation I was in quite often due to my former jobs whether I was in New York, on a beach in St. Barths, or celebrating Easter on Rupert Murdoch's sailboat, or sitting next to the founder of Google at brunch. Ha!), or whether it was a room full of executives in the fashion industry, or a room full of women at church from all backgrounds, or a room full of young urban teenagers with wit and style that could intimidate the crap out of me, if I let it.......Instead of thinking of MY inadequacies, I thought about how I could make others comfortable, how I could get to know them better, how I could brighten their day in some way, or how I could just experience what they had to offer and learn from it. Thinking of others and taking my thoughts off of myself left no room for damaging thoughts. TRY IT! I promise it works like a charm. And it's a great way to ensure you look and feel radiant.
-EMBRACE THE BEAUTY & SUCCESS OF OTHERS. Instead of letting the success of others bring me down, I feel excited for for them. I feel special/grateful to be able to associate with someone so talented/creative/or successful. One reader wrote in to say that a friend of hers has "the perfect house, kids, figure, & entertains like Martha Stewart." She said "other women find her intimidating and avoid her friendship." But this woman has formed a great friendship with her and loves her dearly & thought it was so sad that other people were missing out. So don't miss out! Surround yourself with people that you admire. Reach out to them, love them, and learn from them.
-GIVE UP THE COMPARING OUT OF LOVE FOR YOUR LOVED ONES. If you are dwelling in negativity and self criticism, guaranteed it will spew over to your husbands, kids, boyfriends, girlfriends, family and coworkers. You can't really hide that stuff. And guess what - - it's not attractive. It doesn't lead to happy marriages and relationships. So if you are letting your desire for skinniness/riches/fame/attention make you feel negatively, think of the poisonous negative energy you are sending into the world and the effect it is having on others. Consider that you are teaching your children to live this way as well. Use your love for others as a catalyst for trying to change your ways. Love really is the most powerful force that can help us to stay on track.
-HAVE LOVE & GRATITUDE FOR YOURSELF. Think of every kind word that has ever come your way. Think of every person you have influenced for the better. Think about HOW BLESSED you are!!!! Eyes. Hair. Walking legs. A smile. Family. A chance to be alive and experience this beautiful life! Maybe you have a mother. Maybe you have a spouse and/or children. Maybe you have a friend. Maybe you have a roof over head. No matter who you are, think of what you have and cherish it.
And lastly, if any of us have a weak moment and find ourselves comparing the crap out of someone else's life & wishing we had more.......THINK OF VERUCA SALT. :) This girl had everything, but was never grateful for it & always wanted more......
"All I've got at home is one pony, two dogs, four cats, six bunny rabbits, two parakeets, three canaries and a green parrot and a turtle and a silly old hamster! I WANT A SQUIRREL! But I don't want any old squirrel! I want a *trained* squirrel!"
"I want a party with roomfuls of laughter, ten thousand tons of ice cream. And if I don't get the things I am after, I'm going to screeeeeeeeEEEEEEEAM!!!!"
-Veruca Salt, Willy Wonka.
*****************************Do you guys have any other ideas for how women can stop comparing themselves to others??