Comparison

Oaxacan garden

There is one piece of advice I have gone back to again and again. There is nothing useful found in comparing yourself with others.
My dad shared this with me when I was young and it ended up being the conversation I had with one of my sons on the way to school today.

At its depth, it is really a conversation around where we direct our attention. It’s natural to look around, noticing and observing, but when we begin measuring our own experience alongside someone else’s, we will always see our own lack. And while it is fine to have a realistic sense of where we fit in to understand our strengths and limitations, or where we may like to put effort into growing, focusing on how we don’t measure up is a misdirection of energy. It doesn’t serve us to spend energy in that space of lacking.

When someone we know achieves something of import to them, it is to be acknowledged and celebrated, regardless of whether or not we have ourselves have gotten there. Someone else succeeding doesn’t ever preclude us from succeeding. We will all meet challenge and struggle, regardless of the particulars of our situations. There is no shame in reaching out for help and there is nothing better than offering what you can to someone who is in need. Each of us will come to know the depths of what both of those positions are in our own way.

In a gentle, loving world, we cease seeking some indication of how we measure up. We become more interested in what we can do to build, what we can contribute and offer. When we are engaged in creating something, the rest just falls away.

What are you working on in your life? What brings you joy and contentment? If you are struggling, you can still access these things, give yourself grace. Whatever you rest your attention on most is what grows, so the next time you feel pulled to examine yourself alongside someone else, gently redirect yourself, remembering, we each have only our own paths.

6 thoughts on “Comparison Leave a comment

  1. OMG, what a wonderful post. I needed this. I wish I had had a person like your dad somewhere in my life when I was young. Both sides of my family were angst-ridden, either from too strict religious doctrines or, alcoholism.

    We do indeed have our own life paths…so unique. I’ve spent quite a large chunk of my life chasing after something I really didn’t need or, running from something that wasn’t chasing me. 🤔😳😖

    Liked by 3 people

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