Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 37 of Your Year to Wellness: On Comparison

                                         Curiosity is fine, but Comparison Kills
Be your own competition

Far be it from me to weigh in on anything Super Bowl; I wouldn’t know a punt from sack and I kind of like it that way, but last night and early this morning when folks began to chime in on the halftime performance by Madonna I had to take notice.

I was online checking information about the stand-off between the police and the indigenous people in Panama. I have a wonderful friend who is on her way there for an annual trip she takes to help provide care for animals. My Spanish is rusty, but there are several doctors who post news from Panama in English and in Spanish, so I was following the updates when my Twitter feed went crazy.  Madonna was performing at the Super Bowl half-time and folks who normally chat about dissertation projects and wellness were all abuzz. The conversation had to do with a comparison between Madonna and Lady Gaga or Madonna now and the Madonna of old. Young people pointed out how old she is and called her grandma, while folks my age were impressed that she even made it on the field.

I have an early flight, so I’m going to make this quick (okay, I even felt like my mother just then,) research shows that when we compare ourselves to someone else with disdain, we eventually turn that feeling on to ourselves. In other words, a negative perspective about someone else’s body makes us feel bad about our own body.

When I first began to write A Year to Wellness, I wanted to call it, They Hate Fat People, but fortunately, my literary agent Victoria Sanders talked me out of it. When I saw the research on how we treat ourselves and others based on ideas of body image, I was---what’s that word---pissed.

Last night, the conversation turned crazy as people, mainly women called Madonna old, while others, mostly men were impressed by her inverted push-ups.

Sisters, come on.

When people ask me who’s more competitive, men or women, I laugh because, I am being asked  to compare and only a man would not know. We women have so many more ego areas; we don’t just have to look good, we have to be the best providers, the best mothers, the best cooks and the best dressed.

We compare hair and clothes, skin and even nails. I long for the day when women begin to see each other as sisters; not the wicked step-sister type, but the loving sisters who see each other as beautiful, powerful and wonderful.

I will admit that when I was younger, I was not a Madonna fan, but on this side of 50, I am cheering for all women who strive to be themselves.

·         Today, take note of your comparisons. Who do you compare yourself to and why?

·         Who do you make fun of? (How old are you?)

·         Where does comparison stop and jealousy begin? Search your soul for your own answers.

·         Take note of the number of times you point out the flaws of someone else.

·         Now, take note of how it made you feel.

You are beautiful, you are wonderful, you are powerful, just as you are.

BE you, be whole, be Love

Bertice Berry, PhD

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