Compare and Despair

the cost of comparisons

This week I am sharing my 17 year old daughter's thoughts on our tendency to compare and (more often than not) despair, as a result.

I have seen this tendency both first hand as well as with my clients.

It can be debilitating.

It can stop us in our tracks.

It can keep us stuck for years in a low grade malaise of not "enough-ness."

Rather than seeing and growing our own abilities, we lament their lacking.

And, in doing so, we miss the point of living.

So...without further adieu, I give you the words of a young woman articulating this dilemma for herself, in prose:


A Prayer to those Who Compare

Oh life,

though I live long, 

meaning forsakes my name

as I race to collect another reflection.

Though I am not and will not be the last to

breathe, stare, stand, and die on this planet,

I will do so in a way that is not replicable.

My limbs,

weak and strong

with need to hold what others do


walk with the ease that others do.

My eyes,

strong from use

as such muscles are used to look at others


back to a mirror.  

My feet, 

sore from walking

in an imitation of the shadow

of my heroes and heroines.

Though my body is weakened  

with the strain of jealousy

I continue to stare



I race and wobble to be like them.

I pantomime holding their burdens and titles and mantles

as if imagining

will make it so.  

There are times when I forget to look up

and I catch the sight of a shoe behind me.

I look back and see a younger person,

a child,

  a friend,

   a stranger,

trying in vain to copy my steps.

I desperately want to call out that I am not one to be envied.

I am merely

a shadow of the shadow of my heroes. 

But I stay quiet.

I hold back this confession,

as I am no different.

I hear the same voice that keeps my eyes flickering

and my body in pursuit.

As a drug addict knows they worship poison,

I know what salvation could save me;


Be yourself,

for there is no value in living like a shadow

Lana Bastianutti