I’m not sure what age it happens. It may sneak in the window at age one while you’re sleeping, completely unaware. Maybe later on in life, it grasps your no.2 pencil when you’re in a classroom full of other children your age, all collectively working towards the same grade. Maybe it was always there, right from the start. It’s not a new thing. In fact, it’s a recorded reaction that happened with the first two birthed kids on earth, Cain and Abel.
I woke up this morning thinking about this ugly self eating monster. Comparison.
It’s lurking everywhere and its blackened heart is beating beneath almost everything, threatening to paralyze movement altogether. It finds its way to sneak into cracks of whatever I love and threatens to freeze on the spot, busting anything beautiful to bits.
Like most things, there’s probably a balance of it that’s actually good. A lighter side that should never be flipped on its head. One that motivates an individual to be “better” than what they are in whatever spectrum it pops up. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me it rarely stays heads up at the light motivation level. And where it doesn’t stay, it turns into a thick, dark and deep forest where objects, which in the light are just the dirt beneath my feet and the bark etched into the trees and the leaves offering their shades of green canopies, all turn into haunted shapes of what they were actually created to be. This monster, Comparison, ushers me in and then leaves me to wander frightened of my own shadow, to wonder, “is that me or someone else?!”.
It sounds like some sort of mental sickness worthy of medicants. Yet the shocking thing is, it roams around as a perfectly socially acceptable disease. There are industries of marketing built on it and the exploitation of it and how to make people hungrier for it. Are we all craving to be a superhumanherodemigod that not one person can be or is? For a moment in time, I convince myself that one human being or multiple someone elses have found that niche to be so. And where Comparison lies, Jealousy consumes.
This morning as I felt acutely aware of the silliness of this monster and her friend (Jealousy), I decided maybe it was a good time for reading and meditating (or trying to) on some Words that are anchored, far more so than anything that first my fingertips then mind tend to run to. The very first thing I read was this:
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1THESS5:11
That last part, “just as you are doing” felt like a slap in the face. You mean, just as i am internally not doing right now, right God? It’s good to be humbled (aka) put in my place (aka) dragged out of the forest.
Even though they can be awful little monsters, there just might be a reason for Comparison and Jealousy to roam freely about. Not for me to stay there like a drugged prisoner at a tea party tied to what I’m not, chained to what I perceive others to be, but to realize the pursuit of something greater than myself. Something greater than all of us really. The creative talents and intrinsic beauty that I’m awakened to craving at 730 am were not born simply of human strength and ability. They were dished out by the Divine who holds them all. Isn’t it strange that as I find myself jealous for the attributes He dished out, He is jealous for me?