Monday, December 5, 2011 12:26 PM
It's hard not to compare yourself to others. We often have this perception that our weaknesses hurt us more than our strengths benefit us. And this usually causes us to undervalue ourselves. We compare ourselves to our friends, peers and colleagues. We measure our worth based on how much money we make, our homes, cars and clothes, or our relationship status. This habit of comparing makes it difficult to appreciate who you are, what you have and what you are doing with your life.
Recently, I was listening to a friend fill me in on what she's been up to. I only talk to her every couple months or so, and she always has a lot to say. Anyway, as I listened, I realized that I didn't have a lot of monumental life changes going on in my life right now. She seemed to have a little bit of everything going on. Part of me was slightly annoyed at how she was dominating the conversation, but another part of me was relieved because I didn't have much to report. I'm still a mom who writes and goes to work and raises her kids. Not much had changed since our last catch-up. I started wondering if I should feel some type of way about this. Am I stagnant? Am I not moving forward?
Once I had a chance to think through some of the unpretty feelings I was having, I had an enlightening moment of sorts. It was kind of like a "duh" moment at the same time, actually. Anyway, I realized that at this point in my life, my number one priority is raising my children. Everything else comes after that.
OK, duh, right? Here's the enlightening part...
Live life on your own path. Everybody's got something different and the combination of energies that makes you who you are is unduplicated.
Sometimes I feel like I'm missing something when I hear about the adventures that other women around my age are having. And maybe I am! But I'm reminded now that I'm OK with that. I'm raising three human beings who need their mom and dad to be engaged and highly involved in the intimate details of their lives. I know that won't always be the case, so I'm thankful for the ability to have an impact on them during this time. Because they are my priority, most of my decisions are centered around them. My financial decisions, personal pursuits, lifestyle choices, are all affected by my choice to be a mom (and three times over at that).
So, it doesn't really serve me at all to compare myself to anyone else because we all have our own unique situations. How we live our lives and make decisions are manifestations of those wonderful energies I mentioned earlier that make us who we are and create the texture of our lives. Why view someone else's choices as better or worse than our own? It doesn't even make sense really. Maybe we think our lives would be easier, but it wouldn't. More fun? No. More success? Probably not. Joy and fulfillment in life come from being fully in touch with who YOU are and living wholeheartedly from that awareness.
I don't want to do this life thing like anyone else. Even with all the ups and downs, my life is my own mysterious and amazing gift from God. Instead of feeling better or worse about my life when listening to someone else's story, I feel intrigued and curious about what makes people do what they do and feel how they feel. I'm just fascinated with the complexity of life, I guess.
What about you? How do you avoid comparing yourself to others? Or perhaps you have a completely different perspective on it. If so, I'd love to hear it.
As always, thanks for reading. 1 4 3 :)