Hell isn’t other people, hell is comparing ourselves to them.
Any time we assign magical qualities to others, allow ourselves to become over impressed by people’s successes and idealize those who likely share the same mixed bag of strengths and weaknesses that we have, that’s hell.
Any time we use other people to gather evidence of our own inadequacy, shame ourselves for failing to meet their values and vandalize our worthiness by making unfavorable and foolish comparisons, that’s hell.
Any time we justify our resentments towards successful people, trap ourselves into thinking we deserve better than them, and let their awesome lives spiral us into a paralyzing state of shame, depression, and bitterness, that’s hell.
And understandably, it’s difficult look at the pain we cause ourselves when we compare. Because we’re too blinded by the stars in our eyes.
Donaghue’s inspiring book about sex outside the lines uses makes a point about how technology can tip the comparison scales in either direction:
Used properly, the internet can create a nourishing and supportive environment of influence. Used improperly, the internet can create a toxic, brutalizing atmosphere of detrimental comparison, leading to a debilitating sense of loneliness and an unhealthy desire for unachievable norms.
A nice reminder that whatever we carry in our minds either nurtures us or tires us.
And comparison does the latter.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you endangering your physical and emotional health in the attempt to conform to some ideal?* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
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