Thank you for clarifying, Bruce! I think I get your point of view and mostly, I am on the same page. Reactions such as the “comparison machine” (and many others) are our coping mechanisms which we certainly need until we are able to consciously face and heal the “wounds of the heart”.
Your long response actually pointed me to the ask the question “what personal growth means to me?”. I think a big part of the growth I am after is exactly this: facing the wounds, no matter how hurtful they may seem. For I believe that if I am able to find the compassion for myself, I can now take care of the wounds from the childhood, heal them, and, as a consequence, switch off my coping/defence mechanisms.
And switching them off is necessary if I want to live more and more authentically!