You've heard the quote from Theodore Roosevelt, I'm sure, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Right? I'm so working on getting that into my head. I'm a comparer by nature. I think most women are. I'm mean, comparison shopping is actively encouraged. We write comparison/contrast papers through school. We start young, comparing the length of our hair during recess - please tell me I wasn't the only one who tilted my head back just a bit to make my locks appear ever so slightly longer than they really were. And certainly Field Day is a childhood comparison-fest we actually look forward to - no one really enjoys the rainbow ribbon events, do they? There's no winner. Thankfully though, Field Day is designed to give everyone an opportunity to succeed as even I, not one too keen on running events, could find my time to shine during the hula hoop competition. All these youthful comparisons are fairly benign, almost fun I think, because they are done externally. And with good sportsmanship. It's when we start to internalize our comparing that things start to go a little wonky.
When we compare ourselves inside our heads, nasty things like insecurity and doubt creep in. We feel "less than" - instead of the alligator's mouth opening wide at our number, we get the sharp, pointy end facing our direction. And so I found myself this week, a fully grown adult, feeling smallish because my comparison reflex was triggered. It's so silly looking back on the experience, but I felt like I wasn't as good as a person because she did something I couldn't do. However, in order for her to do it, she had to live a life that wouldn't make me happy at all. So it was an apples to oranges situation. How could I envy an achievement that came from a lifestyle I wouldn't want to live anyway? It was ridiculous. So after feeling bad that my joy for her accomplishment came in second place to my insecurity, I made a conscious effort to stop that behavior. And I feel much better as a result.
In fact, I feel like I understand now that we aren't even apples and oranges. We're snowflakes. Or fingerprints. Truly unique beings who have no place using anyone else as a measuring mark. We can only live our life and strive to live it in a way that makes us feel great. By focusing on living in a way that truly makes us feel happy, instead of wasting it on external comparisons, I think we'll find we actually have more fuel to live our lives with gratitude, joy and love. And we can celebrate ourselves and others with equal enthusiasm. So there's that.
Since it's Friday, we need to all find some time to sit outside and sip something delicious. Here's a suggestion, a Pimm's Cup. It sounds tasty, refreshing, and you can work on your English accent while you enjoy it. Here's the how-to:
Fill a pitcher with one cup seltzer or lemon-lime soda, one cup of lemonade, and three cups of Pimm's No. 1. Mix that up and pour it into highball glasses that you have filled with ice and lemon slices. Cheers!
I'm wearing this.
Some days you just feel best wearing a tie-dye tunic tent. With a necklace, of course.
gratitude: insight, decor magazines, Ted Talks, cash in my wallet
thanks and love.