I was reading about what to give up for Lent here and here. It made me think about what would be good for me to go without. I am taking 4 different exercise classes at my University this semester, and I have found myself comparing other’s bodies to my own. I have discovered that when I compare myself to someone else, even if I am “favored” in the comparison (ex. I’m thinner/better/tanner/etc. than her) I am less happy with my own capabilities and features and am less loving of those around me.
The partner trait to comparison is Judgement. In order to compare two things, a judgement must be made about each of them to establish what grounds are available to comparison. I don’t want to be a judgmental person. I find myself doing this more often then I want to admit. I loved what Meg wrote here:
I remember being a little girl and going to school with another little girl. And I remember the moment that someone else said to me, she’s fat.And I said, she is not. She is not fat. How can you say that she is fat? Truth it, I don’t know if she was fat or not. I can’t tell you anything about the shape of her body other than that she was tall.
As a little girl I didn’t look at others as fat or not. My eyes didn’t register that as a thing to take note of.
Sitting in Tom’s office, years ago, I said, I want to go back to that place. I want to not know if someone is fat or not because I simply haven’t noticed. Because it’s not part of my visual vocabulary. But I don’t think it’s possible. Because once you see something, how do you un-see it?
If I could let go of looking at others and finding them or myself lacking, I would be more able to see all of the good that they (and I) have. When I judge or compare, I am focusing on one thing, and putting one of the two of us down. I love the notion of a visual vocabulary, and removing certain words that lead to judgement and comparison from that vocabulary.
What would you take from your visual vocabulary? How do you handle judgement and comparison?