Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak about the act of comparison to an amazing group of female leaders. While speaking on this topic, I realized that I was actually applying the principles to my own life while sharing with the group, but I believe this made the teaching that much more impactful.
When reflecting on comparison, I recalled situations and circumstances in my life in which I compared my skills, my abilities, my future and who I was with others. Many times I have become so wrapped up in what is going on with others that I have failed to live my own experiences. Honestly, that is not really living.
There are also times when comparing leads to walking past the doors created for us because we are trying to fit through doors made for others.
The truth is, as humans, we are always striving to be unique. If people ask where we purchased our shoes or who the builder was for our home, we are hesitant to reveal the answer. Why? Because we want the most unique outfit, home, jewelry, stuff, etc. We want to have an “exclusive” on anything that we can; our culture is marketed to in this way.
So why is it that when it comes to our destiny or future, we try to copy or replicate what someone else is doing? I have found myself in this situation numerous times. In the academic world it is critical to publish and have a platform for your research. While completing my doctorate, I tried to write and speak about topics that were not designed for me. This only created frustration and led me to believe lies about myself including “I’m not good enough”.
The definition of comparison is the act or process of comparing. This sparked some thoughts. Sometimes we think we are just dwelling or contemplating the act of comparison but don’t realize this is an action rather than a thought. Comparison is a noun, but when we engage in comparing—a verb—we are using our will to focus on what others may or may not have. This allows us to go to a place that most of the time leaves us feeling inadequate and headed in the wrong direction.
The chapter 1 Corinthians 12 breaks down how our bodies work together in contrast to how we function as a society. There is no hierarchy in our bodies; I need my eye as much as I need my arm. Both are equally important to the overall functioning of my system. So why is it that we place people on a hierarchical system, labeling some as having more value than others?
Comparison is also defined as the assessment of two or more items to find similarities or dissimilarities. By comparing, we look for ways that we are dissimilar. The only outcome that can result from this is a negative one. In the search for dissimilarities we have no unity. The whole goal of the body is to function as a unit; my eye cannot be jealous of what my arm is doing, because that wouldn’t allow my system to work as a whole in an effective way.
My challenge to you is this: Who or what are you comparing yourself to? What is the destiny and purpose built just for you? Are you trying to fit through a door built for someone else? Are you looking for dissimilarities in those around you? In all that you do, try to be you: Dream your dreams, make your plans and live your life. There is so much joy waiting for you if you do.
*Originally appeared on Cassie Reid Counseling. Used with permission