By: Kristen Pizzo, 15, Project HEAL San Jose
True nobility isn’t about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than you used to be.
~ Wayne Dyer
If I had to pick one quote to live by, this would be it. I first stumbled upon it while reading the actress Portia de Rossi’s book Unbearable Lightness, a memoir about her struggle with anorexia. When I was reading the book, I was still in outpatient treatment for anorexia myself. That was over a year ago. I am now, according to all my doctors and therapists, “recovered”. Yet I know my past will never leave me. And so, this quote still holds so much meaning to me.
Anorexia was a tiring ordeal, and not just because of the hours of exercise. The thoughts were tiring too. Every day, every hour,practically, I was comparing myself to others. Everywhere I went my eyes and ears would latch onto people, and pinpoint each and every way that they were better than me, whether it was physically, intellectually, or socially. I made myself believe that everyone around me was somehow so much more worthy of life than I was. And that’s how the cycle of self-hatred kept going. The key to recovery was breaking it.
It took a long, long long, time for me to realize what that quote really meant; to fully realize the truth in it. In fact, I’m still working on believing it. But I’m really starting to see what a beautiful truth it is. Our character, no matter what society tells us, cannot be judged or measured by being compared to others. There will always be someone smarter, more talented, thinner, taller, or louder, but no one can be a better YOU. In order to love ourselves we need to stop trying to be better than others and just be better versions of ourselves. After all, that’s all anyone can and should ever ask of us.