I said to myself the other day, "I am no better than she," and then something in me sort of piped up saying "but you are more aware right, you work hard on this and that." I had to stop myself from going down the path that is comparison. Because it is in our nature to do so. We so badly want to feel like we measure up somehow and the easiest (cheapest) way to do this is to find someone whom we feel does less of a job than us, or is less of a person, and pity them, to feel some sense of achievement or worth.
The journey I am on at the moment is recognising that worth is actually a birthright and everyone is born with worth woven into their being. But culture, upbringing, abuse, trauma, and other life experiences tend to hard wire our brain into believing otherwise; Worth is a game we must win, or a measurement we must achieve. This is far from the truth.
Therefore our efforts in comparing ourselves or pitying others, placing ourselves on a higher shelf in order to "achieve" worth is mute.
I tend to focus on the reverse side of comparison, where we compare and then feel like the lesser one, but comparison to feel greater than is just as dangerous. We must not render void other people's journeys, their pain, their experiences, their perspective, because we are trying to earn our own worth. We must stand in our own sacred ground, and let other's stand in theirs.
This conversation I was having with my thoughts led me to the bible verse Matthew 7:3-5 "And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye."
How can we for a second think that we have it all together and we deserve a higher status than someone else, that allows us to criticise or judge? Even if we have learned a lesson in an area of struggle for someone else, how are we to know the lessons learned are relevant for someone else? We then face the threat of rendering our own experience and pain obsolete because we generalise it and undo its depth in light of trying to solve everyone else's problems.
How can we for a second think that our togetherness is worth more than someone's brokenness?
The truth is we all have brokenness (no matter how many lessons have been learned), the sort of evolving brokenness that never goes away. It is beautiful and keeps us searching, reaching. The lessons learned in that ever evolving broken journey are never to be used as trophies to deem us more points than someone else. Because someone's lane, their story, their journey is exactly as it needs to be and stands in its own right as a complete-but-never-finished, incomparable, multi-faceted and intricately personal story.
My togetherness in one area is just that. A beautiful evolution of brokenness to light-filled healing. Pride will undo all that hard work in a second. My brokenness in another area is someone else's light-filled healing. And when my brokenness meats someone else's light-filled healing in a genuine connection, that is a beautiful moment. But when we force it or use it as a means to gain something for ourselves, it isn't beautiful but rather condemning and judgemental. Humility is key in sharing stories of pain and allowing those stories to do some healing where needed. Comparison will jeopardise this beautiful transaction every time.
I never want to assume I know better, or I am better off than someone else. Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall."