March 2012: Recipes For Life
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Part 13 of the HWA Series, Live Your Life Out Loud

Comparison is the Thief of Joy quote box, Theodore RooseveltHave you ever thought, "If only I were _____?" ➔ fill in the blank with whatever insecurity prevents you from feeling whole. Every time you compare yourself to someone else in any category, e.g., money, beauty, status, etc., it only serves to feed that insecurity. The funny thing is that it is all in your head, no one else knows what you are thinking or feeling. Yet, by trying to fill the void, it can dictate how the plot of your life plays out. In essence, you allow the comparison to control who you are instead of being the person you are meant to be.

Comparisons are the breading ground of self-alteration and overcompensation. You begin to perceive doing or having certain things will make you whole. Feeling like you are not rich/attractive/smart enough as compared to someone else can manifest into actions that can put you on a path of precarious life choices. The truth is, until you decide YOU ARE ENOUGH, proverbial warts and all, you will never be happy because you will never be whole.

Chasing things will not work. The holes get bigger with each inauthentic decision creating a repetitive cycle that deepens the insecurity. These decisions can manifest in a multitude of ways: You marry a man you don't love because you think he has an impressive degree; you buy a house on a certain street to show others that you can afford it; you starve yourself trying to attain the unattainable weight; you exaggerate your career achievements; you decorate your home to create an image of the picture perfect family; you shop for items you don't need; and so on. These actions temporarily mask the hole but never fill it. They allow you to feel like you are enough until the insecurity resurfaces and the illuminating darkness of that insecurity defeats your efforts. The only way to stop this cycle is to recognize and accept who you are, once and forever, and love it.

We've all caught ourselves making a comparison; some women consciously overcome it, while others don't know they are doing it. In his eulogy to Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner told us, "The Whitney I knew despite her fame and worldwide success, still asked, 'Am I still good enough, am I still pretty enough, will they like me?'" During my Chick Flick Chat coverage of "The Bachelor," I discussed this very issue when two women experienced this void on national television. Kacie B, upon being rejected after the hometown dates stated, "Why am I never enough?" Then Lindzi, after not receiving the final rose, told the cameras, "I wasn't enough." In pop culture, when we see or hear someone measuring themselves against others, it demonstrates that no one is immune. Different women, different backgrounds, universal self-esteem issue.

Release the need to prove anything through self-imposed pretenses because you are only fooling yourself. Let go of worrying about what other people think of you and care only about what you think of yourself. Stop comparing yourself against others, the superficial image someone projects does not give you insight into their life. It doesn't matter what other people have, look like, or do; Teddy Roosevelt was right, comparison is the thief of joy. It robs you of living happy and whole, stripping away your true self. You are enough, you always were, and you always will be. Know it, believe it... It is a joyful place to live.

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