I hate getting caught. Worse than getting caught by someone else, getting caught by your self. I totally caught myself doing what I time and time again practice NOT doing, and talk about not doing, but here I am, being human again. I was caught comparing myself to others. Not just anyone but someone probably 10 years younger than me and skinny. Yup, it happened and I'm still annoyed with myself about it. Here's how it happened:
I'm at my favorite local market grabbing some healthy tastes and while I wait, I notice an employee. The thoughts immediately start. Nothing too crazy, but words like "size 0" were in there. I've battled with my self image for as long as I can remember and I was more pissed off with myself than anything else. I get in line to check out and she's the cashier. We make small talk and then she says, "you're in like really great shape." Well, imagine my shock with her comment and embarrassment with my inner commentary. I smiled and said thank you and we discussed weightlifting and how she wants to start lifting (success).
Man, did I feel foolish. I was so embarrassed that I had that inner dialogue in the first place, and then she comes back and thought I was in great shape. I like being muscular, strong, and I like the confidence that [usually] comes with my demeanor; however, my negative self image inner conversation still rears its ugly head once in a while. Growing up in the 90's with fat free foods, fat is bad, super skinny models in the media, etc, it's still there, in my brain that that's what I should be, even after all this time of teaching myself otherwise.
While I was judging her and comparing myself to her, she was praising me. Wow, what a reality check. You never know what someone else is thinking, feeling, going through personally, or has been through. I felt like I was in high school again. Where did this childish way of thinking come from? I don't remember the last time I thought like that and I was not happy with myself, but I'm so glad it happened. I needed this "Ah ha!" moment to clear the fog that was looking at myself through.
More often than not, our thoughts and opinions are clouded by judgement, expectations, and excuses. We don't see it for what it is. We create a story behind it, a reason it's that way, or a reason we are not. It never just IS. I need to get back to this type of thinking.
Bottom line: comparing ourselves to others is a form of sabotage. It will not help us progress as an individuals or as a group. We are all different for a reason, and the reason (I think) is so we can learn to be not tolerant, but more accepting of and loving towards those who are not like us. Embrace other's for who they are instead of trying to change them, wishing them different, or being threatened by "their way". There's no right or wrong. There's only opinion.
Be whatever you want to be. Think and act however you would like, but most of all, be happy with yourself.