comparison

Stop comparing yourself to everyone else, it makes you look pitiful. I am sooo not kidding.
Just step off that merry-go-round, Friend, because it’s taking you nowhere.

How much of our unhappiness is a direct result of comparing ourselves to others?
Why do we do this?
She’s more successful, he’s more educated, she has a better body, he has a better car, she got more ‘likes’ on her photo (really?), he’s so lucky… I would be happy too if I had ___________.
So, hmmm.. if we removed all of these images and people from our lives that we compare ourselves to, would we feel better about ourselves?
There is value (much!) in unplugging, getting away, and cutting off the insane stream of information and images and ads etc., but this would not make us happier, things might slow down and we might relax, but it will not bring happiness.
This illusive ‘happiness’ will only come when we take a look around and start appreciating what WE have.
That’s crazy simplistic isn’t it…
That’s like, off-the-charts simplistic.
But it works.
We cannot live to our full potential, we cannot become everything we were created to be if all we do is complain about our life, our bodies, our job situation, our marriages, our bad luck, etc… etc…etc..
We just can’t. Because our focus is wrong.

I struggled with this.

I come from very humble circumstances and did not have the opportunities, blessings or bank account that many of my contemporaries did (do?). Add in a poor self image (it’s so much better now) because of my difficult childhood and you have a recipe for disaster.
I could always find something wrong with me and my life.

But about 6 months ago, I drew the line in the sand.. enough was enough.
I was going to start being thankful for everything I had. Yep, just like that.
But, but, but!!! Yep, everything.
Even the stuff I didn’t like.
Especially the stuff I didn’t like.
How does this change anything.. you might be asking? (yeah, I wanted to know, too!)

We are reminded of how fortunate we are.

Yep, yet another overly simplistic thought.
When we realize how fortunate and blessed we are, we have no room in our lives for comparison (that is based on ingratitude).

I’m still a work in progress but when I walk around appreciating things like the laundry (It means I have clothes to wear), the dishes (it means I was fortunate enough to eat), the computer messing up (I’m blessed to actually HAVE a computer), sore knee (I have legs! I can workout!), A husband who is late…again (ok, I’m still working on that one, uh.. let’s see- I have a husband who works hard! So, sometimes-he-forgets-he’s-married-because-he-gets-so-involved-in-his-work but at least he’s a very hard worker!!) LOL
then we really start to see how blessed we are, and I mean reeeeally start to see.. something happens in us. And it’s a good thing.

Our focus shifts from what we don’t have.. to what we do have.
And we’re so blessed.
I don’t even have to know your circumstances to know that you are indeed blessed.

Gratitude changes everything.

This isn’t some ‘Pollyanna’ band aid approach to life’s problems, it’s not going to make everything bad into something good. This is a change in your attitude and outlook on life. It’s a new approach that requires deliberate practice day in and day out. It’s a choice.
Your choice.

So stop comparing yourself to others and start appreciating what you have.
Gratitude.. makes you beautiful. Pull it out, dust it off and apply liberally. :-)

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