Comparison is the thief of joy.
I heard an expression the other day that hit me in my very core…“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Wow. That really resonated with me on so many levels.
Where do I begin?
I believe that everyone has his or her own unique path to go down in life, and no path is the same. There is also a normal ebb and flow to life. This means that we are not always going to be on a high. Sometimes we are going to be on a low. That’s the reality of life. Somehow we have lost the ability to cope with the lows. What makes it even worse is that, G-d forbid, we are already feeling down — all we need to do is look at others and how glamorous their lives are to give us that final kick to feeling even worse than we already did in the first place.
Happiness is something that we need to feel on the inside as opposed to gaining it from outside sources or comparing it to others’. The problem I see happening is that when you are not fulfilled with your own sense of happiness, it is easy to need someone else or something else to make it happen.
We use happiness as a destination instead of a journey.
And then all of a sudden when we feel we might be happy…kaboom!!!! Someone always seems happier. When we feel successful…someone always looks more successful. When we look fit…someone always looks more toned. When our kids are flourishing…someone else’s kids seem to always be thriving more.
The truth is that we have to learn to just be happy right where we are. I wish we could all go through life with blinders on, like the horses in the Derby. Those shields are worn so the horse can’t get distracted by what’s happening on each side of them. They’re used to maintain focus.
I think we could all use some metaphoric blinders to help us remain happy with who we are, with what we have, and with where we are at. When we compare, we always find someone who has more, but the truth is, there is always someone who has less…a lot less.
While we can’t go through life with real blinders on, we need to find a way to just be content with our place in the ecosystem.
How many times have we seen pictures posted on social media sites with couples smiling and laughing while vacationing — only to come and find out that they are getting divorced.
While some appear to the naked eye as having it all, I assure you that no one does.
Some may have more wealth, but may have health issues we know nothing about. Others may have great beauty, but be so insecure that it is crippling. Relationships that seem so loving and wonderful may have deep and troubling intimacy issues that can’t be overcome. That very thin girl may have a sick parent. You just never know.
That’s why it’s important to focus on what we do know and what we can control.
1. We can control how we treat ourselves and others.
2. We can control the positive or negative energy we put out into the world.
3. We can control our expectations and be content with what we have.
Don’t get me wrong, because I’m not suggesting that we limit our goals…far from it. I’m suggesting we settle in with gratitude for what we have and stop focusing on what we don’t.
Goals are wonderful motivational tools that help us aim higher, move forward and reach further; however, it is important to stop and look at what you have accomplished, how far you’ve come and what you already possess.
When we view social media, let us never forget that no one is putting out the bad parts of their lives, and therefore you are only viewing a slice of the pie.
And what you envy may not be real.
Hard times, bad relationships and crappy hair days are unavoidable — so look at the world as an endless possibility of better days, loving relationships and those “boy, do I look hot” moments that are just around the corner.
Until Next time,
Please feel free to share this post or leave a comment. We’d love to hear your opinion!
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
The Buddha Team