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
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.
weak and strong
with need to hold what others do
walk with the ease that others do.
strong from use
as such muscles are used to look at others
back to a mirror.
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,
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;
for there is no value in living like a shadow.