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Thoughts from Vintage Yoga...

Week 30 My Self-Love Journey

Last week I was talking to a friend, and I noticed that she kept comparing herself to other people. One comparison in particular stood out to me. She had recently made a new friend and in the process of getting to know each other, they began talking about their families. My friend comes from a challenging family situation, and she was expressing to me how difficult it was to listen to her new acquaintance talk about the close bond she has with her family. She explained how anxious and insecure she felt hearing about her new friend’s wonderful family while she struggles to maintain a relationship with her own.

A phrase I’ve heard many times over the years is “compare and despair.” Comparing ourselves to others is something we’ve all done. Yes, sometimes comparison makes us feel better about ourselves, which I believe falls under the category of “judgment.” (A topic for another day.) But, often comparing ourselves to others leaves us feeling insecure or inferior, thus despair.

Think about that for a minute. How many times have you found yourself feeling less than someone else simply because you chose to compare yourself to them?

Notice I used the word “chose.

Years ago, I read a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Those words have resonated with me ever since because they told me that feeling inferior is a choice.

When I compare myself to others because of how they look or because I think they are smarter than me or better than me, or they come from a better family than me, I am the one who suffers. Think about that one for a minute.

When you compare yourself to someone else, where does that comparison take place? In your head, right? The other person has no idea that you have made this comparison. They will go on living their happy little life, looking better than you, being smarter than you or coming from a better family than you, simply because you chose to give them that power. Your power.

Imagine how different your life might be if instead of comparing yourself to others, you channeled your power into being a better version of yourself. Instead of comparing how you look to others, what if you channeled your power into doing what it takes to feel good about how you look? Eat well, move your body, get enough sleep and take pride in how you present yourself. You are a beautiful person already! Instead of comparing how smart you are to others, what if you channeled your power into creating the habit of reading and learning something new? Lifelong learning is a great way to boost your self-confidence. And that family of yours? You are not responsible for your whole family, so don’t compare! Remember, you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your family.

One of the greatest acts of self-love is to stop comparing yourself to others. I’m not going to try to tell you it’s easy. Just this weekend, we had friends over for a pool party. One of the girls is in her mid to late twenties and as soon as I saw her in her bikini, Annie started in about how flat her stomach was and how great she looked in her bikini. Then I reminded Annie that we’ll be 60 on our next birthday so we are not going to compare and despair on this one. We decided instead to appreciate and Love where we are in life right now.

So, start to notice when you are comparing yourself to someone else. Once you notice, then take back your power by making a different choice. Choose Love instead because you are more beautiful than you know.

With Love and Gratitude,


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