What if instead of ignoring it or pretending it doesn’t happen, we could understand comparison and competition between women as an opportunity to notice something more about ourselves?
Could comparison be a reminder that we have forgotten our own loveliness?
When we start to see comparison as a symptom of forgetting ourselves in the first place, it stops us from making it about the other woman – the one we are comparing ourselves to – and becomes solely about the relationship we have with ourselves.
Is it possible that comparison enters through the doorway of lack of self worth or self loathing that we open whenever we brush off, ignore or hold at bay recognising and appreciating the absolute preciousness and amazingness of ourselves?
- When I see a friend, sister, colleague, daughter or my mum feeling amazing, stepping up and being beautiful, there is a lot of information exchanged in that split second about the choices they have made and the ones I have made too. I get to feel them and myself in that same moment. If I hold that woman above me, better than me, more ‘it’ than me – I feel deflated and crushed by my own ‘not enough-ness’, my mouth goes dry and my tummy feels punched. Hello comparison… where’s the chocolate?
- When I am present with myself and hold myself as equal to any other woman, including the one in front of me that is reflecting their beauty and amazingness, all the information of that single moment is still there, but instead of being crushed I get to feel where I have let myself go or held myself back, in the face of my mums, friends, sisters, colleagues or daughters’ choice to be more of themselves instead of opting for something less. I get to see and feel where they have made choices that I didn’t. But the difference is, I do not feel less for it, I feel soundly aware of the choices I’ve or haven’t made and the ones I can still make instead. Hello inspiration!
How different would our relationships be as women if we were able to, instead of using the information we are constantly feeling in every exchange as a measuring rod to beat ourselves (or another) with, we acknowledged the unfolding beauty of another woman without feeling an iota less in ourselves, in fact, feeling more aware and appreciative of ourselves instead?
As women we have a powerful opportunity to nip comparison and competition in the bud wherever it plays out in our daily lives and our relationships with each other – friends, family, colleagues, celebrities, strangers – even pictures in a magazine or characters in a movie.
What if instead of cutting one another down as women with the ill will that comes from a bruised self, we took the opportunity to REMEMBER our own absolute worth and loveliness?
When comparison and competition between women gives way to inspiration and appreciation we get to see and feel each other blooming, knowing we share that same blooming power too, equally, in all our different bodies, ages and lives.
By Adrienne Hutchins, BEd, Brisbane, Australia