Tulip vs. Rose

by Meg on June 26, 2012

How would you compare a tulip to a rose?

When I think of a tulip I think of spring, new beginnings, and the bed of tulips that bloom year after year under my parents’ bedroom window.

What comes to mind when you think of a tulip?

When I think of a rose I think of love, Valentines Day, anniversaries, and romantic date nights.

What comes to mind when you think of a rose?

Not one thought that comes to my mind about either flower is about appearance. 

Rather, the thoughts that come to my mind are feelings or events that I have associated with the particular flower.

I don’t compare which has the better colour, the prettier petals, or the more pleasant fragrance. I wouldn’t even begin to compare these two flowers because each flower is unique and there is no proof to say that one is better, prettier, or more pleasant smelling than the other.

Would you be able to say which flower is prettier than the other?

Sure, you may have an opinion on which you like better, but your reason for preferring one flower over another is most likely not because you think one is prettier than the other. It’s simply just your personal opinion.

Since we are not able to say exactly which flower is prettier than the other, why are we so quick to look at others and think that they are prettier than ourselves? 

 I do not focus on the appearance of flowers rather the feelings I have associated with them, so why do we assume everyone around us is focusing on our outer appearance rather than what is on the inside and what we have to offer the world? 

Three years ago, I compared myself to others on a daily basis and it only led me to feeling discouraged and self conscious about myself.

I thought everyone was better looking than me, smarter than me, and more capable than me.

I was battling with comparing myself to others on an hourly basis and I knew something had to be done about it in order for me to be happy and confident with who I was, so I confided in my psychologist, Bryan, from the Westwind Eating Disorder Recovery Centre. I have mentioned my psychologist many times throughout the time I have been blogging; he is an extraordinary man who truly understands eating disorders and I would recommend his help to anyone seeking recovery.

When I told Bryan about the struggles I was having with comparing myself to others he told me to compare a tulip to rose.

Immediately, I was struck by his suggestion because I couldn’t compare a tulip to a rose. They are two completely different flowers and when he asked me to tell him which flower was the “prettier, more beautiful flower” I could not.

Both of them are beautiful in their own way. 

I hope you are able to see that you and I are the same as the tulip and the rose used in my example.

I am no better than you nor are you better than me.

There is no proof saying that I am prettier than you nor is there any proof saying that you are prettier than me.

A tulip is more cup shaped than a rose, but does that make a tulip more beautiful?

A rose grows as shrub producing many flowers, but a tulip bulb that is planted will only produce a single flower. Does this make a rose superior to a tulip?

The answer is, no.

Just because you may have broader shoulders than the person next to you does not make you better or worse than them.

Just because the pace you run on the treadmill is 0.2 mph slower than the person running beside you does not make you less worthy than them in any way.

I want you to start thinking of yourself as a flower. You are beautiful in your own way and others do not compare you to the others “flowers” in the world.

No one is judging your petals to the flower sitting next to you because they are both unique and there is no evidence to say that one is better looking than the other.

Be proud of the petals you have and appreciate your uniqueness because, surprisingly, everyone who you think is judging you is not, so you shouldn’t be judging yourself either.
Exhibit confidence in your own petals and people will begin to notice your inner beauty and all of the wonderful things you are able to offer the world.

As always, if you are struggling and need someone to talk to feel free to email me. I wrote this post because I know how common the battle with comparing ourselves to others is and a few of my very close friends are currently struggling with this issue.
I love helping others and if you have an issue that you would like me to write a post about do not hesitate to ask <3

Love,
Meg
xoxo

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Sable@SquatLikeALady June 26, 2012 at 7:03 AM

Meg. I am in love with this post. I seriously think this may be the wisest thing you have ever posted. It’s beautiful…. and I’m not talking about its appearance =)

I will try to remember this when I compare myself to others or when I fear someone else is comparing herself to me!

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Meg June 27, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Wow thank you so much Sable :)

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Stephanie @itrainthereforeieat June 26, 2012 at 7:11 AM

Meg this is beautiful!! One of my favorite posts in a long long time. What a great concept and of course you wrote this beautifully! It’s so true too, you really can’t compare the two flowers. So why do we constantly compare each other and ourselves? This was a great way to start my day, thank you!

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Megan @ Weddings and Workouts June 26, 2012 at 7:14 AM

Wow . . . What an incredibly powerful post. I absolutely love the analogy; it’s so true! You’ve given me a lot to think about. Have bookmarked this!

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Alexandra June 26, 2012 at 7:19 AM

<3 Beautiful post m'dear– this totally inspired me to view myself as a unique and special individual today :)
"Both of them are beautiful in their own way" <– YESS. I think that's what makes life so awesome– imagine how lifeless and dull the world would be if everybody was forced into a cookie cutter mold! I'll take my flaws and quirks any day over being a boring blah bum haha ;)
Hope you have a beautiful day love!

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Linz @ Itz Linz June 26, 2012 at 7:28 AM

I love this analogy. And I love roses because of my great-grandmother Rose… that was the first thing that came to mind when you first posed the question! Such a smart and wise lady, you are!

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Kimberly @ RedefiningKim June 26, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Meg – This is a wonderful message and one that needs to be shouted from the rooftop. I see too many women and girls comparing themselves to others and finding themself “less than”. We are all beautiful and should embrace those things that make us beautiful!

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Alex @ therunwithin June 26, 2012 at 7:52 AM

Meg, you nailed it. This metaphor is so beautiful I honestly had no idea where you were going until I started reading more and more. You truly have some of the most wonderful ideas in your head. I hope you keep spreading this positivity to empower this community even more. I know I need it!

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Heather @ For the Love of Kale June 26, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Meg,

This post is SO incredibly beautiful. I love that analogy so much! Bryan really knows his stuff and it’s so beautiful to see you passing on his knowledge and helping other girls going through the exact same things we went through. Admittedly, I still compare myself to others. It’s not a constant thing by any means but I feel like it’s difficult not to in our society. That being said, I do love myself and appreciate all of the unique things I have to offer – just like everyone else. <3 LOVE YOU, BABE!

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Cheryl @ Happy is the new healthy June 26, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Good analogy, Meg! You’re beautiful.

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Claire @ Live and Love to Eat June 26, 2012 at 8:22 AM

What an amazing way to reframe your thoughts – beautiful post to share!

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Tara @ Sweat like a Pig June 26, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Wow, this is probably the best post you’ve ever made. So beautiful x

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Tayla @ She'll Be Free June 26, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Thanks for this lovely post, Meg. I really needed to hear this today. You’re very inspiring<3

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Meg June 27, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Thank you Tayla <3 I am so happy you enjoyed xo

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Amy June 26, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Oops! I hit post before I finished typing :)
I was going to say, seriously Meg this is a fantastic thing to share! I appreciate your honesty in your struggles with an eating disorder. It’s difficult to talk about and you do it with grace.

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Meg June 27, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Thanks for the comment Amy :) You went to spam! I just saved you!

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Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile June 26, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Beautiful post, Meg! It is so, so true. Every single person is unique and beautiful in their own way. Love this.

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Jessica, the_toned_teach June 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Wow, what a beautifully written post! You are quite the writer & inspirational speaker, my dear. Thank you for sharing your heart with us- it is lovely :)

ps: be on the lookout for my guest post coming to your mailbox today. I wanted to send it so you had enough time to read it & let me know if you need any edits! Thanks love!

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Yellow Haired Girl June 26, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Wonderful post, Meg!

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Wendy June 26, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Meg, What a beautiful post. Others need to do that comparison- how true:) What a great analogy! In the world of ab shots, progress pictures- its a mind game but a game that really can mess with the psyche. It’s positive blogs like this that can help change the mindset! I will be reposting this on my page tonight. :))

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Meg June 27, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Thank you again for the support Wendy! You make me so happy :) <3

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Caitlin June 26, 2012 at 10:40 AM

I love this analogy! It’s so true, what is the use in trying to determine which flower is prettier than the other? They are both beautiful! Can’t we just appreciate them without wasting precious mental energy over trying to figure out which is better? No words can describe how much I adore this post and you.

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Kristin @ My Mission Impossible June 26, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I. Love. This. Post. Everything about it. You’re awesome. That is all!

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Ali Mc June 26, 2012 at 11:12 AM

GREAT post meg! I try to tell myself the same things. Working in a fitting room has taught me lots! nearly 100% of women complain about their bodies and appearance. ALL shapes and sizes…..it drives me nuts! I’ve made it a point to try and inspire others by attempting to be confident in my own skin. Sometimes it’s hard but if you keep practicing it becomes easier.

I love both flowers and I think you’re great!

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Christina @ The Athletarian June 26, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Fantastic analogy, fantastic post. You are wonderful, my love.

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Lisa June 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Beautiful post my dear friend!xoxo

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life June 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Your therapist sounds amazing. Therapy for disorders is all about changing the way we think (cognitive therapy), which is hard to do when you’ve been thinking one way for so long, but metaphors like this are all we need to hear to shift our thoughts slightly. Amazing!

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Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats June 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM

So glad I read this today! So, so, so perfect! :) Tulips remind me of my grandma’s backyard. She has multiple little round gardens filled with tulips of every color. Some of them are brighter than others, some of them have jagged edges at the top of the petals, some are shorter or taller than others. They are ALL beautiful though! :)

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Kim @ Sweet Heart Eats June 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM

What a great way to think about it! I too fall victim to comparing myself to others. I’m so hard on myself, yet never judge others. Usually, people are much kinder in their opinions of me than I am of myself. It’s definitely something that I”m working on and will keep your post in mind when I’m having one of those days! XO

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StoriesAndSweetPotatoes June 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Love this.
Love you.

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Meg June 27, 2012 at 8:33 AM

I LOVE YOU TOO :D

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Katie @ Katie Moves June 26, 2012 at 1:37 PM

what a lovely and inspiring post! bryan sounds like a smart man! the comparison game is a hard one to get out of! it’s important to remember how unique we all are. <3

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Brittany @ Delights and Delectables June 26, 2012 at 1:40 PM

What a great analogy! Love this! I compare myself to others as well, and I’m going to have to keep this in my mind when I start to! You are beautiful girl… inside and out! xoxo

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Meg June 27, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Awww thank you Brittany :)

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Stephanie @ The Fitness Adventures June 26, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Thank you for this post! It is so easy to start comparing ourselves to others without realizing that we are all special in our own unique way.

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Michelle (Better with Berries) June 26, 2012 at 2:07 PM

This is beautiful Meg! I love it. I definitely find myself falling into a comparison trap sometimes – sometimes when it comes to looks, and lately, more often when it comes to knowledge and career aspirations. I always start to get a little nervous when talking to someone who is an actual dietitian because I worry that I’m not really worthy of talking about health and nutrition when I haven’t even started school yet. I just have to remind myself that whomever I’m talking to is most likely not judging me – they just want to help me learn more!

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Steph June 26, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Meg, this was great. I know I tend to focus so hard on “improving” myself that I compare myself to others in hope of looking/acting/doing things like them. Sometimes it’s inspirational and it allows me to set goals for myself. Other times it’s depressing because I don’t feel “as good as them.” I know I need a reminder that I am different than everyone else and everyone else is different that me. Nobody is better or worse, just different. Thank you so much for the reminder!!

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Jessica @ Busy Living Healthy June 26, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I love this, Meg!! I know I struggle sometimes comparing myself to others, but this is so true! Everyone is different, and you can’t compare two different people. :)

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Lindsay @ Conscious Cravings June 26, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Girl, this is such an amazing post. You seriously have a beautiful soul and mind. You touch my heart pretty much every time I read one of your posts. I definitely struggle every day with comparisons, but I never let that stop me from being an amazing person.

ALSO I’M COMING TO BOSTON. Word. :D :D :D

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Meg June 27, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Awww what a beautiful comment Lindsay AND EXCITING NEWS :D WHAT!? I FINALLY get to meet you!? :D

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Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness June 26, 2012 at 4:54 PM

What a beautiful analogy! I can always count on your blog for words of wisdom and I love it :) Thank you for this post! I have been struggling a lot with self esteem and body image lately and even though my eating my be better, it is still a struggle to look in the mirror on a daily basis! Now with some powerful words from a great person, I think I will be able to look with a fresh new perspective :) Thank you Meg!

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Meg June 27, 2012 at 8:35 AM

You are such a sweetheart Danielle xoxo

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Lauren (@poweredbypb) June 26, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Meg! This is an amazing post! I’ve been really struggling with the comparison trap and this gave me a lot to think about!

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Rande McDaniel @ The Vegetable Centric Kitchen June 26, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Beautiful <3

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Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health June 26, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Gorgeous post Meg! LOVE the analogy! I’ve never thought about it like that, and it’s definitely a great way to think about things :D

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Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition June 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM

This is beautiful!

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Dolce June 26, 2012 at 10:14 PM

This is so awesome. I was pretty much in tears because I know I am so guilty of comparing my own God-given, unique body to other girl’s. He made us all so beautifully different!

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kristle June 26, 2012 at 11:20 PM

my thoughts are expressed in all the other comments these ladies. know that this post has definitely helped and inspired me, among many people!

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