Oh, comparison, that ugly icky thing that makes us all want to crawl in a hole and bury ourselves for eternity. In order words, it is toxic. It makes us second guess ourselves, feel unworthy, and downright blukh! It is not good, or is it?

Wait, what? Okay, just hear me out here, please? While comparison can be a horrible thing to do to yourself, even though most of us do it unintentional, almost naturally, it can be used as a tool or a weapon to help us be better, to heal. 

Heal?! Yes, you heard that one right. If we approach the issue a little differently, I believe we can use it to actually help us become more self aware and ultimately becoming better and healing all those deep rooted wounds we can sometimes be unwary of.

How about we dig a little deeper into this notion by hearing out my story(s)?

le Story

One day, as per usual, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I stumbled upon a post that made me feel all kinds of icky. It was… (this is so embarrassing to point this out) a post of a girl with her sweetheart, living the life at some exotic beach in far away lands. They were cuddling with each other and she had this huuuuuge caption narrating how lucky she was to find her soulmate and how wonderful it felt to have someone you truly love. When I saw that picture, I immediately was reminded of how single I am. Like I said, comparison can be toxic.
I don’t have anyone to cuddle with, I muttered painfully under my breath before I threw my phone away. Ugh! Not fair! Life suuuuuucks! Wait.. why am I single? Like if thats what I really want, why don’t I have it? Why don’t I have someone to do corny shit with? The questions swirled around my head. It was nerve wracking! I started questioning my worth, was reminded of how I am running out of time – you know being a woman and all, that number game, ugh, the thoughts spiralled and I was so deep into it I almost went into depression – like really.
However, something struck and I decided to get to the root of the issue. I sat myself down and asked myself: why do I get worked up? Why does it bother me so much? Is it because I am jealous? And if that is the case then why am I not taking the steps to rectify the situation and make it one that seems more favourable to me, which in this case would be to have a relationship. Now this conversation didn’t just quite last a few minutes… no, think days, even months. I constantly kept asking myself questions, almost like a detective asking and asking and asking and slowly I began to realize that this whole being in a relationship isn’t my actual fantasy! See, the key element in the story here is the fact that I was brainwashed into wanting a fantasy that was not even my fantasy. So each time I’d see posts about the said fantasy I would get all worked up and feel incomplete, because I was convinced by external factors that that’s what I should want, or even need, otherwise my existence is basically a waste!
Yes, I do imagine meeting my soulmate, having all the butterflies in the world bouncing in my belly. I am the hopeless romantic, trust me – but not right now. Right now, I am abundantly happy spending my time with myself, growing, building, expanding. I genuinely do not have the need or want to share myself with someone just yet. I am at that selfish stage where I want me all to myself. Before I am ready to share myself with someone worthy, I want to explore myself, grow myself, and build myself, solo, so when I do find the want creeping in, I am ready and complete, instead of seeking completion by being with someone else.
However, since almost everyone and everything around me keeps telling what I should want right now is a partner, whether or not I am ready for it, I need to find him and find him fast otherwise I am just… meh, I subconsciously started to really believe it and that took a toll.
It took me months of digging to realize this and ultimately fixing it, or at least being almost close to fixing it – as the work is never done, am I right?

We humans
are so tortured
by not properly guessing
what will make us happy.

Atticus
how comparison can be a good thing
soul of orion
how comparison can be a good thing
how comparison can be a good thing

Shop the Look

le second Story

Another instance in my life when I found myself comparing myself to another on social media and feeling I just wasn’t enough was when I (again) was scrolling through my dear Instagram feed and came across a post of a travel blogger living the dream. Ugh! The dark little creep sneaked in yet again and I was feeling it. I compared my situation to hers. Me behind a desk, staring out at the cold, mundane world of the everyday, while this babe here is chilling on the white sand, sipping a piña colada and is getting paid for living a dream. Talk about really feeling that burn. I almost close to tears. I hated myself in that instant and found my entire existence to be an utter waste!
Once my emotions calmed down, I took this opportunity to dig deeper. I wasn’t going to stop scrolling on Instagram and neither was I going to hideaway from the world. I couldn’t and I shouldn’t! But what was more pressing for me was to understand why I reacted the way I did. So, again, I sat myself down for days and weeks and had endless conversations with myself. I’d expose myself to similar posts and observe my emotions towards them. Most times, I loved seeing bloggers and travellers living it up, it inspired me! However, there were times when, again, I’d just want to shut myself out and loathe. Why. Why do you feel so horrible? I kept asking myself that. Well, this one was sort of simple, really. I also want to travel and live like the free spirit that envision myself to be! With that said, I did contemplate more on this because like with the whole wanting to be in a relationship was an external influence that did not necessarily align with my core, I did not want to misdiagnose myself and ultimately realizing months, or even years later, that instead of fixing myself I got to no where.
Hence, I dug more and was convinced that this is actually a genuine want. Therefore, obviously there were times when I’d watch someone else living that life – my dream life – it would bother me and that was understandable. I’d compare myself to the ones living the dream and it would get ugly real fast.
But I wasn’t having it. I can’t live my life feeling the icky – I just can’t! I told myself. So, just like with a child, I decided to mind myself and mend what’s broken – because clearly something was broken. I sat myself down and asked myself, what do we need to do to get you to the point where you won’t feel so affected. I thought long and hard about this, because just like with the whole being in a relationship issue, I needed to truly know what want, not what others are telling me I should want.
Again, the months long journey commenced and I held conversations with myself and my close friends I highly respect. They helped me pick apart my pieces and analyze. They’d share their own experiences and would help me understand myself better – which I am so so thankful for!
I realized that yes, I truly want to be free. Not just so I can travel but so I can live my life at my own space and have my own schedule. I realized that unlike the majority, I absolutely cannot conform to the whole 9-5 mindset, where ones entire life consists of killing their hours just to climb a corporate and ultimately retire when nothing else is left to do – nope, don’t want that.
So, I did it. I first convinced myself to gather the courage, then I allowed myself to actually gather it. And behold! I quit my job and am chasing that dream, that beach hehe. Yes, I am not exactly where I want to be but I am where I need to be and am closer to it than I was yesterday which is what matters.

le Moral

To sum it up, yes, comparison can be toxic, it is toxic. You see, the reason comparison is toxic is because of the fact if left on its own, it can create moulds and moulds of insecurity within ourselves, making us feel like we are not enough and that the grass is always greener everywhere else except on our front yard, and that in any way isn’t healthy, like at all. However, we can use it to help understand ourselves better and to fix the problem from the root.
I understand that for some of us taking some time off social media and shutting ourselves out for a bit is a much needed remedy as it helps us take a breath and calm our nerves by not having to compare ourselves with others – at least it works for me at times. But it is not the cure, trust me.  We can’t shut ourselves out and avoid the problem and think it will disappear, it wont, because ultimately we are the problem. You can’t runaway from yourself, can you? And no, that is not a challenge.

le cure, le hero

I often hear some people saying that self awareness isn’t a cure to anything, it is just awareness, an observation. Well, they are right, it is just awareness and that is the path to the cure might I add.
I mean, imagine a doctor misdiagnoses the disease of a patient. Do you think they’d be able to help the patient and cure them? They wouldn’t be, if anything they might end up doing more harm than good. In fact, all doctors know that diagnoses is arguably the most important step in curing a patient. Similarly, so is self awareness. By knowing what disease bothers us and why, we can cure ourselves from it instead of working on the wrong parts of us and ending up nowhere close to finding peace and happiness that we all seek, only finding ourselves further away. Yikes!
This is why, for me, comparison helps. It helps me find out what’s still broken inside me and allows me, or rather, gives me the opportunity to fix myself. You see, this world is beautiful and inspiring. So shutting ourselves out or barely allowing it to enliven our emotions (in the most wonderful way) isn’t really that wise is it now? Instead of not living to the fullest because we are afraid of the icky creeping up inside us, why not heal ourselves and evolve in such a way that the harm barely makes a dent on us while the joy completely seeps into our soul and lifts us higher?
I’ll leave you with that thought for now.
Until next time, my darlings!

xo fatima

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Fatima Zehra

Fatima Zehra

A dreamer and a storyteller at heart, Fatima's aim in life is to live as creatively as possible while inducing intention in everything she does as of late. It is because of such intention that Soul of Orion was born. A playground free of rules, fear of expectations and the likes, where she can freely express herself and her work as well as chronicle her journey of being, called life.