Monday, August 31, 2015

Thrive by letting go of comparisons and toxic load

I’m 33 years old, and in all these years, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been compared to someone else. Someone, who as per the person comparing, is better than me, brighter than me, smarter than me, friendlier than me, calmer than me. Someone who emails more/calls less or more/ watsapps or doesn’t/is a better friend/ more balanced/ far more wiser.

That someone, who like any of us has his/her own set of strengths but also his/her own satchel of weaknesses, but in that golden haze of comparison takes on the halo of an angel and the magic of a gnome. That someone(s) who is (are) just as different from me than a butterfly from a caterpillar, than chalk from cheese, than a dog from a cat.

So, how do these comparisons affect me? Well, till a handful of years ago, these comparisons were like poison-edged darts that not only split open my skin, but also the metaphorical wounds that were bloody and deep. They made me feel like I shouldn’t ever have been born. That I’d rather be someone else than me. That really, if the person making the comparison said so, then I really must be a mutant, with more flaws than the craters on the moon.  That I wasn’t as good as others. Or rather, good enough.

I felt small and humiliated. Weak and insufficient. But most of all, I felt guilty. I was filled with a kind of guilt that’s viscous and sticky like honey. That kind of guilt that makes you want to shed your own skin and be someone else totally. That kind of guilt that you don’t know how to get over.

I plotted and planned of ways to morph myself into that someone that others were always comparing me to. I wondered how I could, like a chameleon, take on the golden qualities of those people. Of how I could be anyone but me.

But not anymore.

The comparisons still flock my way, every now and then, though a little less than more.

I still seem insufficient to some. But I don’t let them undermine who I am. Not anymore. I don’t let those casually flung statements and candy-wrapped comparisons cut me up like they used to.

Yes, they still sting. They still remind me of the reams of comparisons that tied me up in tight knots once upon a time. But now, I let them go.

Now, after all these years of walking through fire and letting my inner steel emerge, I let those who compare go and I let the comparisons go. After almost a decade of living with a partner, who accepts me totally for who I am, who never judges me or loads me up with his expectations, I’ve let the wounds heal and I’ve learnt to be in my own skin. And not just be, but flourish and nurture everything that makes me who I am.

Nothing and nobody, I’ve realized, is worth that much of pain and self doubt and toxicity. 

If someone can’t accept me (or you) for who I am or how I am, when in all honesty, I’m accepting them for who they are with their scars and eccentricities, then, it’s really not worth trying. There are so many more positive things to aspire for in this life of ours that crowding them with someone else’s expectations is so not worth our time. It’s so not worth our effort, and so not good for our soul.

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