My Comparison Trap

MY COMPARISON TRAP

Jennifer Aiello, 26, Los Angeles

God knows how much I hurt myself, how I don't appreciate myself…is it’s just awful. I have this trait from a small age; to look at what others have and to feel that I am always not good enough, I always live in the feeling that I did not get the qualities, beauty or luck that others have.
I wish I didn't live during the Smartphone period! The fact is that I see what others do all day,  how many likes and comments they got, who they spend their time with,  what they eat, what they buy, and so on.

These comparisons exist not only with my friends, but also with my sister, my co-workers. I was always interested in what grade they got, who they go with, what vehicle they drive, where they went on vacation, and so on. To me, that is what matter!  

How many times a day do I fall into this trap?  The "comparison trap", it caused me a lot of moments of anxiety, jealousy and unhappiness. How many times a day does the thought “he or she is better than me" caused me great suffering? Honestly, I made myself a slave to this thought…always in worry. My inner joy died. My beauty faded, the energy meant for it has been used for worry. I was trapped by comparison, and it wasn’t easy being so.

When I think about it logically, I realized that this mindset leads to great destruction. I was convinced that I have done more harm than good to myself. On a critical thought, I discovered that each of us has where he or she is better than others. We also have were we are less good too.

 Now, I think of myself as an independent entity. One that is capable of producing power and love of my own because I am smart enough, beautiful and successful. There is really no reason why I will not succeed. Deciding to stop abusing myself, I focus on thinking about the things that make me stand out and strengthen me.

I am beautiful, I am healthy, I am special, I am smart, and I am accomplished.  These are what I always tell myself… On the other hand, I also try to see the good in others as well. I do not make comparisons any more nor worry myself… The wisdom is to know what is unique about you. To know that you are different from others and that others are different from you.

I am now trying to feed myself with love and respect… Wish me luck ..

The Secret Of Positive Thinking

THE SECRET OF POSITIVE THINKING

Samantha Green, 42, Florida

One day I was shopping, and the seller who was in the store was busy with his iPhone. I saw him. This makes me upset, and so I reacted and exclaimed: "You know it is just unbelievable."

This made the guy alert, and he gave me a questioning look. That was the moment where I had to decide whether to take the situation to either go in a positive direction or a negative one. It took me a moment to decide.

I said, "It's just unbelievable; you have the amazing ability to provide the great services to people and also to continue browsing your phone.” What happened next was unbelievable, the guy smiled and gave me an excellent service too and most of all he wished me a wonderful day.

If we look around us, we are continuously interpreting the events that are happening around us. And through this interpretation, we give value to the product and thus correspond to our emotions as well. The interpretation is the thing that allows us to either feel positive or negative. If the interpretation is contrary, we will also see its effects.

Therefore, it is much easier for the UNOs to forget the changeability of interpretation as it is changeable.

So, I have adopted this habit to remain calm and try to look at things differently and in positive ways, even if the situation is extremely annoying. I always try to stay positive and try to put myself in other,s shoes.

Life has taught me the importance of having positive energy and allows me to see the positivities in every coming beautiful day, instead of having any negative energy-draining thought.

Life has also taught me that negative thoughts can bring multiple harms to my personality and mind, whereas the positive, healthy vibes can make me even more beautiful and energetic.

Embracing myself

EMBRACING MYSELF

Leslie Roberts, 29, Palm Beach

When I was growing up, I had everything I needed at my fingertips. My parents made sure that I had all I wanted, as the only child. We had house helps that worked for us and took care of things at home; so, there was nothing much for me to worry about. I had good grades in school and was quite exceptional, but it didn't feel special to me. Despite all these, I never felt good about myself.

When my classmates in the second third, fourth, and even the fifth position get their results, they were always glad and happy. I didn't understand why.

As a perpetual front position holder, I saw no reason to be happy about my results because my parents never praised me for them. They were indifferent to it. They were only busy with their own.  

My father was a politician who was always busy and having meetings. My mother was also very busy as a popular High society woman. There was no appreciation and appraisal from their part to make me feel good.

This continued until I visited my Neighbors house. They had a child with Down syndrome. I saw how they treaded him. They would take care of him and encourage his little strides. While discussing with the boy, I see that he was delighted and contended. He had good feelings about himself and was not sorry that he wasn't like most people. He was very proud of his handwriting, even though it wasn't the most legible handwriting ever. My encounter at their place was unique and divine that I had to take a rethink about myself. I realized that bad feelings instigate negative energy. It affected my ability to succeed. I have learned to redefine myself to create good feelings for myself and about myself. I am loving myself first without waiting for anyone to do so.

Self-Cleansing/ Letting go of the pain of the past.

SELF-CLEANSING

Julia Kimi, 23. Trino.

I am one of the persons who was broken by relationships. I once had friends that would go out with me; we would play together, gist, and even read together as a team. It was all fine until I found myself in this relationship where my guy wanted me to all his alone and no one else.

My man was really possessive, but he was caring. To keep the relationship, I had to break off with most of my friends. That didn’t turn out well as my social life was mostly starved and I had to only find happiness in my man, which was not so bad.

However,

things got nasty and the guy and I had to break off just some weeks before our wedding. I felt hurt and humiliated. I was very angry and swore to myself that I was not going to forgive him.  

I maintained that for a very long time. I was not going to love again, too. I locked myself from new relationships. I couldn’t call my friends back because I felt I betrayed them. I was hurt and angered.

Later, I had a neighbor who was very kind to me. He noticed the way I kept to myself. Despite that, he kept doing his acts of kindness, such as dropping the newspaper at my door. Sometimes, he would offer unsolicited help to move in heavy things. One windy day, while returning home it started to rain, my neighbor Noticed me and stopped his car for me to come in. I reluctantly entered and that not long,. This guy and I got talking and he made me realize the need to let the pain go. He shared his own story with me, which touched me emotionally. I have lost a lot while housing hurt. I didn’t see happiness in anything and often, I wallow in self-pity while telling myself that “I am being strong and independent”. The conversation lasted about 2 hours, where we were stuck in the car from a heavy storm. The encounter changed my life and I let the pain go with a cry. I forgave myself and learned to appreciate helps rather than being harsh. I sought healing in myself. I treated myself fairer, I changed my playlist to a positive set to help me stir positive energy. In fact, my neighbor suggested sports. Today, I am married to my (ex) neighbor and I have finally buried the hurt of the past.

Inner Peace

INNER PEACE

Lucy Amaral, 23,  Hawaii

Growing up, I was always a jolly little girl who was up for any adventures. I participated in many activities, especially those that boys did. To me, the boys had so much to do, unlike the girls, and since I never wanted to be left out, I joined the boys. We had our days planned out perfectly such that when you get home, you already knew what you would be doing the next day. Come to think of it; my childhood was a busy one and super fun. Every other morning my energy was rejuvenated because my perspective of life was fun and games. My parents had brought me up to be very generous and humble. My mother, each morning, would tell me to smile, not for anything but because am was alive. For this reason, I mastered the art of smiling, and I would share it with just about anyone. I would always get positive feedback, and this attracted so many people to me.

My mother kept reminding me of my environment and how to make it just right for habitation.

I would clean the house each morning and open the windows wide to feed our house some fresh air. Every time I did this, I would get inner peace.  

One that would make me such a homely person. I was learning how to be orderly. As I grew older, I developed a deep love for nature and its beauty: the birds, the trees, the hills, and the sky. Somehow, I felt a great connection with what nature offered. I need not have to communicate with nature verbally, but I understood. We shared in spirit; I suppose. I took upon myself to be feeding nature what was best and since I have always lived in purpose with nothing to worry so much about.

I would then share my peace with my friends, and we would go for expeditions away from the city, to connect to share to live in nature's greatest gifts.

Take care of yourself

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Melinda Cohen, 45, new Jersey

I was a devoted mother, and I was always around my children and my commitments, even if it was at the expense of my concern for myself.
At 40, I realized I was looking older than most of my colleagues.

This occurred to me when I drove my son to a friend's place and the boy made an open comment, “mummy, why are you older than your friend?” Although he said this with innocence, not knowing my friend’s age. I was deeply touched.  

Then I decided to change my approach to life. I dedicated more time to sleeping and eating good food. I had more baths and would occasionally visit the spa for a massage. I invested in good paint for the room, comfy bed and pillow, and an inspiring light array for the bedroom.

Caring for myself, was probably necessary .. I didn't notice it, and my son brought it to my attention. I thank him for that, I look better and feel even better.

Which will make you thinner?

WHAT MADE ME SLIM?

Celine Broe, 27 Chicago

I am not a fat person, and I never want to be. I am pretty average, and I wished I could remain so and nourished. Topics on food had always been interesting me. From the direction of maintaining weight, I would always look for the calorific value of anything before taking it, and not its nutritional value. All I care was to know the number of calories contained in all I take. I hardly check their nourishing values. I never even thought about food as something nourishing. In fact, I know nothing about balanced diet.  It was so funny but that was the truth anyway… I just wanted to maintain weight. That is all.

Recently, with the help of the multitudes uploaded films on proper nutrition, I began to realize that everything I had eaten to this day, actually, has no balanced diet.  They are synthetic industrial food that is full of flavor but energy free. No wonder I suffered from unhealthy skin full of hatching (although I have been adolescent). No wonder I would always be weak and tired. No wonder I couldn’t see my body nourishing.

I realize that our body, in order to exist and function well, needs six classes of food Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, mineral and water. It is these constituents, if taken in right proportion that make a balance diet. They are the one that build energy upon which our body works. Just as electric lamp needs electricity to turn on, so our body need these components of food, mixed in equal proportion, to be nourished and to function well.

Strictly following the films, I was convinced that these components are the basic things our body actually need. They are the fuel that makes the proper functioning of systems possible. They are what our brain needs to think and understand better. They are what we should be taken in right proportion to be more effective and successful at work; to be more energetic and even enjoy everything around us.

  We are definitely stronger and healthier than when we take synthetic industrial foods.

For our skin to be always fresh and glow, we definitely need these components of food in right proportion. They are found abundantly in plants and in animals. They are free gift of nature. That is the good news! They are always around us and they are easy to get and digest. They digest quickly and provide us with natural energy that fills life with beauty.

As soon as I realized that, I did not only change my diet but also change my reference to food. I realized that it is my responsibility to feed my body with something that will make it healthy and nourished.

Just as I care about light and water for plants I grow at home, so I began to care about my body.

Surprisingly, I even dropped a few kilos; probably they are those kilograms my body kept because it didn’t trust me to listen and feed it proper. Maybe it was constantly afraid for being deficient. 

Today, the body seems to have trust me; it only leaves what it needs. Today I have mastered the nutritional value of anything I eat. I am now in peace with my dear self.  I am now calm taking good care of my body. I feed it with what it requires, and it feed me back with what I need.

The Question That Changed My Life

THE QUESTION THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

Melissa Rispoli, 28, Italy

I've always had the belief that all the bad things happen to me all the time. I purchased a new car and on that day, I had an accident. The car got spoilt.

I finally started a good relationship with a guy, and in the end he went to study abroad. I worked in a newspaper system that closed down later.

I felt unlucky, I felt so bad; I didn't understand why I deserved it all. I felt everyone's life was getting along and mine was stuck. I was discouraged.

My inner peace disappeared; the energy in me was lost. My beauty began to fade since the inner joy was no longer working.

Every time, I will be expecting disappointment and loss because, in my head, I was stuck with the belief that nothing could work for me. Really, the pain was much for me.

As part of my work as a reporter for the local newspaper, I got to interview the most colorful figure in the town, a man who has accumulated large assets, a man who was very influential and philanthropic. When I asked him, ‘‘what makes you such a great?’’. ‘’It is my dream’’, he answered courageously.

According to him, he did not come from a wealthy home and did not have any heroic figure to rely on but he dreamed of being rich and successful in a big way. Every morning when he woke up and every night before he sleep, he would see his dreams come true. He believed in himself, he believed in the universe and he also believed it was possible.

Even when it was hard and things didn't work out in his favor, he kept dreaming and kept believing.

When I was done with interview he asked me, "What do you believe?"

Funny enough, I had no answer … I never think in that direction. I have no idea of what I believe in. That is the truth.

The question was a turning point in my life, it made me realize that I never believe in myself and my luck, I always believed in bad luck, lack of success and misfortune.

I changed my mind set, I decided to believe in myself, I began to wish myself good luck and I began to foreseen everything working in my favor.I decided to believe that I have all it takes to succeed and that all things happen to me for better; only good fortune surrounds my life.

Although, I have not become wealthy since then nor have I become a politician, but I have lived in peace with myself, I have seen how good things happen to me, I let go of the belief that I am unlucky, and accept belief that I am fortunate and blessed fellow, and that is what I am ….

WHAT MADE MEN FALL MIN LOVE WITH ME

WHAT MADE MEN FALL IN LOVE WITH ME

VIRGINIA BERNAHARD, 28, BOSTON

           I had always been in successful relationship with men. Men had been admiring even the land I walk on. They were always around me and ready for my cooperation.

On the other hand, many of my female counterparts have suffered greatly in their live by men. Many have been abandoned and insulted. They had not been treated with respect and, as a result, they suffered emotionally and psychologically. Of course, they should be. They are human being.

They had been surprising on why my own case is different. They thought I had a special harm that made everyone to fall in love with me. I had no special charm. The truth is that I have different approach to men. I know how to set limit for men in my life. That was, probably, the secret.

Setting boundary was something I learnt and always demonstrate it towards men. I don’t easily submit myself to their dictates, though I always respect their feelings. I always make them to understand that, at least, I have life, beliefs and right just like them. I don’t depend on men.  Yes, I don’t. I take responsibility of my life and my choices. I never allow them to feel superior over my life. I never allow them to feel that my life is better because they entered it. I always remind them that my life is complete and will continue to be regardless of who is next to me.

For me, my girl friends do a lot to win relationship; they were constantly trying to please their men. They want men to be true to them. They wanted relationship so much that they forget about themselves. That may be the problem.

When we don’t set boundaries, even for our spouse, we may be encountering some behavior which leads to hostile feelings and vengeance on both sides. This, undoubtedly, makes relationship unhealthy. This principle of relationship, I believe is what made me a magnet to men. They were surprise that despite my love and attraction to them, I acted independently.

I think, you can love and do a lot for your spouse but that doesn’t mean that you are mandated to give up your worth and your respect.

If you really care about yourself, it is important that you take your time to do the thing you love, nurture yourself, meet friends who are just yours, develop career and everything you need to be. Love and allow you to be loved. Don’t kill your integrity at the altar of relationship.

When we don’t set boundaries, even for our spouse, we may be encountering some behavior which leads to hostile feelings and vengeance on both sides. 

To set limit

THE BOSS CALLED ME A LIAR

Kate Manzett, Australia

At my young age, I was educated on value that”good name” is above all. I set this as a principle and acted on it. I was dedicated, hardworking, and loyal.  It helped me to work hard, and paved a beautiful path for my career. It guided my actions and a lot of things I chose to do. My target was to live a principle life anchored on good name, and that was what I was doing. That was what I was known for. I prayed and wished that I would continue in such life track.
However, at some point in life, distraction set in. Human excesses interfered. I moved for a job I really thought would make me happy and make my life principle achievable. I thought the job will help me to build my values but it happened that the boss was so tough, callous and, as well, furious. She always abuse workers and makes them angry, and, worsts of all treat them like a nonentity.

One day, she called me to give her a detailed report on a matter that was getting complicated in our company. As I tried to explain to her, she pounced on me. “Stop telling me that nonsense!”, she barked, “You are lying to me, I need a clear answer”,  

she continued.

Such embarrassment shocked me in a way that I couldn’t hold myself. I was not trained that way. I was not the type that keeps quiet at any nonsense that comes my way. My life is principled and I wouldn’t want anybody to tamper with it. I felt she was exaggerating. She has crossed my borders. Really, my boss crossed the rubicons beyond my tolerance. I had to defend my integrity. I responded to her in a strong and clear way that was unimaginable. She remained calm for a long time. She couldn’t believe there was a staff that can resist and challenge her. Apparently, she was surprise. Nobody use to challenge her in that way.

Our conversation ended abruptly. Within me, I was sure that I am fired. I didn’t need any body to tell me that sacking letter will be the next gift I will receive from her. But I was neither afraid nor bothered. Her behavior was something I was prepared to accept. She didn’t respect me, and her behavior was a great threat to my values. Her action, to me, was like a work relationship that was unhealthy.

Undoubtedly, I wanted to work with dignity, I wanted to make a living; I was willing to give my best. I also wanted my energy to be positive rather than negative; I wanted my inner joy, derived from good character to be increasing instead of decreasing. I was not prepared and ready for a work that will not give me rest of mind. A work that abuses my hard earned integrity. I was in no way ready to be a victim to anyone.

Contrary to the believe that I will be sacked, she didn’t fire me. She began to treat me with respect. She began to consult me on some issues.  Above all, I was promoted to a more senior position.

In life, we need to show others that we worth a lot for us to be honored and appreciated.