Comparison is unfortunately all too often a common thread in one’s self imposed suffering. It is a tool of the ego of course and so nothing joyful ever comes from it. When comparison makes you feel as if you came out on top you may feel good momentarily but it is not a genuine form of joy that you feel. It can’t be because it doesn’t derive from unconditional love or Spirit. In fact A Course in Miracles refers to this feeling as “grandiosity”. However it calls the joy we get from Spirit “grandeur”. Grandeur is magnificence and splendor. Grandiosity is excessiveness and pompousness.

The feelings that come from comparing yourself with others are not only fleeting but they are quite delusional as well. For it is only when you extend and receive unconditional love that you can truly experience peace and happiness. Comparison by its nature can never be an extension of love because it is divisive whereas love is the recognition of wholeness or as Eckhart Tolle puts it “To love is to recognize yourself in another”. Comparison is the ego’s way of dividing and separating. Eckhart Tolle says in his book A New Earth “The ego tends to equate having with Being: I have, therefore I am. And the more I have, the more I am. The ego lives through comparison.” When you engage in this deceitful mind play you have placed your neighbor with whom you are comparing yourself to in a place that is mentally disconnected or disassociated with where you are. This only perpetuates the false idea that what you do and think has no effect on your neighbor and vice-versa (an illusion that experiments in new physics or quantum physics disproves).

In addition to separating yourself from the whole you also create unnecessary suffering within yourself. Comparison is the thief of joy. Let me give an example. Imagine that I walked up to you and one of your friends today and out of the clear blue I offered you a gift. Let’s say that the gift was an envelope and inside it was a check. So I gave you an envelope and you opened the envelope to discover that there was fifty thousand dollars in it for you to keep. How ecstatic do you think you would be when you opened it? I’m assuming you would be pretty happy. Fifty thousand dollars came to you out of nowhere. In your mind you would most likely have already begun thinking of all the amazing things you could do with that extra money. Maybe you would have thought about using it to pay off all of your credit cards or pay down your mortgage or maybe you would have given some thought to taking your whole family on a vacation to some exotic and foreign place. Whatever your personal situation was the point is you would have felt great because you were given an unexpected gift. Okay, now imagine that I decided to give your friend a gift too. I handed your friend an envelope with some money in it but when your friend opened their envelope they found a check for one million dollars, an amount of money that is far greater than the amount I had given you. Here is where the ego begins to cause unneeded suffering. Nothing about your situation changed. You are still fifty thousand dollars richer than you were five minutes earlier but now your joy has begun to diminish because of this comparison tool of the ego.

This type of thing happens all the time in our world. You can see it when people get raises at work. They are on top of the world until they find out the guy who has been at the company half the time got a bigger raise. Or you see it when people buy new cars or houses. They are so happy with their new purchase until a friend or a neighbor tells them about their new purchase which is bigger, more expensive, and so somehow better than theirs. The joy should remain the same regardless because nothing about the actual situation has changed but this trick of comparison just ruins it all for some people.

The reason the ego gets triggered in this type of situation is because it wants to believe that it is somehow more worthy than everybody else which keeps you believing in the illusion of separation. This is the way the ego ensures its continuing existence because as soon as you wake up and recognize your wholeness or oneness and the power that comes with that connection that would essentially be the death of the ego. The tool of comparison is a survival tactic for the ego.

On the other side of the coin the person who gets the bigger check or the bigger house uses the comparison tool in the opposite way. They, now having seen how much more excessive their gift is begin to feel a sense of grandiosity as if they are now somehow a better person or more worthy. This grandiosity though is fleeting because that which doesn’t come from love or Spirit and that which doesn’t serve the whole cannot last.

Blessings are not meant to be compared for when they are compared they are diminished. You cannot understand fully the true meaning behind another person’s blessings because you do not have that foresight. But imagine if you did. Imagine if instead of seeing the facades all the time (the new jobs, cars, achievements, etc.) imagine if you also saw all the hardships that a person had endured or were going to endure throughout their lifetime. Imagine if you could see everything that people kept hidden and did not want the world to know about. Wouldn’t you then be able to silence the voice of the ego and truly extend love and compassion from your spirit? Because in reality the only reason the ego ever gets our attention is by showing us isolated or fragmented pictures of each others’ lives. In fact one of my favorite quotes of all time is by Steve Furtick. He said “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel”. The ego has many tools to keep itself from being renounced or extinguished and all of those tools have the agenda of keeping us separate from one another.

It is only Spirit or Source that unites us and its primary tool is love. Through love comes recognition of the whole. Spirit looks on from a Holy or whole perspective and therefore will never engage in comparison. It is this Holy perspective that eliminates suffering. Comparison divides us, it steals from us, it takes away our peace and joy, and it turns our inherited grandeur into grandiosity. So don’t let it. Remember that if you could see the whole picture everything would make perfect sense. Keep your joy and bless others with it too. For in a world that is whole and interconnected a blessing for one is a blessing for all.

Rev. Marcy Ellen is a spiritual channel, teacher, author, radio host, and a Reiki Master with a Master of Divinity Degree from the University of Metaphysical Sciences. 

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