Compare and despair. Sound familiar?
Having spent many years going around in circles of needing to feel worthy next to the next person. Why was my self esteem so very low? Trying to understand all of my past experiences and self berating and belittling, self hate and feelings of failure, seems these days somewhat futile energy. However it is something that needs to be shared and accepted by myself too.
I do have memories of childhood where I had some family members often saying’ she is so clumsy, she can’t walk down the road without falling over, don’t let Lisa do it she will break it. It must have been said often as it is something I remember with hurt. It just goes to show we must always be positive with children, well everyone in our lives! It was never my parents, my parents always thought I was the bees knees, it was wider family really who looked down on me, well that is how it felt. Perhaps I wanted to have approval, that is why those comments as a child hurt and stuck with me?
As a child I carried lots of stress baggage and took those coping mechanisms into adult hood – i.e. emotional eating! It also led me to think I had to be perfect in everything I do and if I did not achieve perfection, even in the simplest of tasks I felt I had failed, I was useless, compared to other people, other family members, other friends and neighbours.
Here I am at 54 years of age and for the first time in my life I feel I am getting to grips with this feeling, well in fact it was some 4 years ago really, when I met a physiologist who helped me to move on, not from the memories, but from how I felt about me. His help was invaluable. I explained to him how I felt about myself, in detail, I cried, I poured my heart out, he sat and listened and when my ramblings subsided and tears and sobs turned into soft sniffs and gentle tears, he started to speak. His words so mind altering. He said to me, ‘Lisa how would you feel listening to someone who had just said all those things to you about themselves?’ ‘Would you feel badly about them and think yes they are useless and ugly?’ ‘Would you join in a add to the hurt?’ I can remember looking at him and said ‘ no of course not, I would naturally want to hug them, console them, help them see the beauty and positive in who sat before me’ I rambled on some more about what and how I would try and help them. He then said something to me that helped me, to help me! ‘Well then Lisa, if you can show that kindness to others, why can you not show the same compassion to yourself?’ Wow for me that was a revelation!
He helped me put those negative words into the sky and let them float away, sounds a little silly, but it was not, it helped so much, acknowledge the thoughts, appreciate they do not define us or how we live or want to live and just let them float away.
Still today the feeling of not being quite as good as piers around me rears its head, it takes skill of knowing myself well to quieten it and let it go, the sky above is littered with many feelings I let free. Comparing ourselves to others is ridiculous yet for many of us natural to look at the person next to you and think they are better, look better, achieve more, nicer, kinder, cleverer, successful, lucky, all round amazing person, yet in fact those people may look at you standing beside them in just the same way – humans are so funny!
Don’t let comparison be the theif of your own happiness!
Until the next time