“Comparison is the Thief of all Joy” Theodore Roosevelt.
Today I went for a walk with my children to the park. My muscles were stiff, and struggling after all that I have been through in the last 3 months. It has been longer than that, as I didn’t realize how my health issues before had so deeply impacted my overall health until now when I’m finally getting energy back.
While walking around I found myself working through a series of emotions. I began frustrated with how my muscles were screaming out at me. I started feeling discouraged thinking about memories of when I used to hike on a more regular basis. The bigger the challenge the better. Here I am, struggling to walk in a flat circle around a local park.
Another memory popped into my head. Me, lying down on the operating table, just before going under anesthetic, wondering if I was going to wake up again. Wondering if I said goodbye to my children properly. Thinking if I had left anything undone if I should not wake up. It hit me that I was lying on that bed less than 3 months ago. How amazing was it that I have gone from the extreme of being told I had a good chance of not waking up, to walking around a beautiful park, alive to see winter, with my children…. it was a matter of perspective. I can choose to feel frustrated that I am not pushing myself hiking up steep hills, or I can be in absolute amazement at the opportunity to see the trees in the park and smiles on my children’s faces. Yes, my body isn’t where I wish it would be, but I have the opportunity to feel the stiffness of my muscles and the opportunity to work those muscles to get them where they should be. I have that time. That time is a gift.
The world is in a place where we are taught to be competitive and compare ourselves to others. We find ourselves participating in social media shaming – because it makes us feel “not as bad about ourselves” because “We would never do that” or “we know better not to say/do that”. We are taught it is okay to win when the loss is someone else’s.
Although it’s good to experience loss within games (I’m not a fan of participation awards) as life does hand out real losses in our lives, it isn’t how one should measure oneself. We are in competition with ourselves not others. We are meant to be a better version of ourselves. It is okay to look into our past to evaluate where we should be or where we want to be. We have time, the opportunity to change whatever we are not happy with. It is also important to not be too hard on ourselves if we have experienced loss or setbacks… and consider the fact that you are still here, and have time to work through them.
Comparing yourself to others, good or bad never gives you a real perspective. You can only measure yourself from where you have come from.
Hope you have a great week ahead.