No cap, I’m jelly by Pamela Francis

My friend Mike Robbins, who is no more my real friend than Deepak Chopra, davidji or any of the other fine young gurus I’ve surrounded myself with over the years, sent me an email last week talking about Comparing and how not to fall into its tricky trap. Wait, it may have been evil trap. “Comparing” gets such a bad rap. And I’ve been instructed to avoid the practice — nay, the bad habit of it — by the best of the new-thought-ancient-wisdom best. I believe it was Sir Beckwith who gave me the magic words: “Compare… Despair”. And like some eerie game of Password, I’ve been uttering it back to myself for some years now since I first heard it. Say it with me, now! “Compare…” “Despair!” Yeah, it works. I get it. And I immediately stop the negative flow of jealousy oozing my way like volcanic ash on a Hawaiian island I’m mad I’ve never been to while Vanessa Minnillo/Menounos/Lachey gets to school her kids there while she works on NCIS.

Uh-oh! There I go comparing and despairing again. So Mike Robbins says to me, in his email, he says, Pamela… Pamela…  And I say, yeah, Mikie, and he says “Be careful of the comparison trap because it’s actually an ego trap that distorts our perception and causes harm.” To which I said, that’s right, brutha. I know all about it. I, too, have compared and despaired. But knowing this doesn’t really help me in the moment. Like, it doesn’t stop the green lava from heading my way, ya know? So I had to come up with some heat-resistant galoshes. (Are you tired of these 5th grade analogies yet? Yeah, me too.)

So listen. I came up with “Bring Something of Value Back From the Edge of Compare Despair Besides Your Jealousy.” After all, I was also the one who alchemized “jealous” into “inspired”, if I recall correctly. Were I the type to be into FB challenges I might post one called “No cap, I’m Jelly” (in honor of 21st century tween slang), and I would challenge my 52 friends (yes, all 52 of them) to — the next time they’re on FB or Instagram… (Meta… or whatever the freak) — come away from the offending page that’s got them all comparing and despairing, and go Do That Thing. Yes. Go do the thing that just made you jealous, that you saw on “Not-really-my-friend-but-she’s-on-here” ‘s page. So if you saw Kourtney Kardashian slobbering Travis Barker’s tattooed face, neck, chest and Revlon carnation pink nipples, and you felt jealous, go… Buy a Saint Bernard or something. I don’t know. The bottom line is when you compare, bring back something of value, not just your despair, sadness, and jealousy. Like a new Coach bag. No, I’m kidding. You can bring back the determination to book that family vacation this time.  You can bring back the new policy of not letting yourself be in relationships where you feel in any way ambivalent. You can bring back the practice of journaling, exercising and meditating again. You can bring back a willingness to let yourself be that person who takes pictures of every meal and snack they prepare their kids each day. And then post it all over the internet like someone cares.

Just don’t despair. Ok? Ok.

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