There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. Charles Dickens
Comparison isn’t necessarily detrimental unless, of course, you are comparing your insides with someone else outsides, and you mutilate your dignity in the process. Have you ever looked at someone and based on belief wished you could be more like them or envious of what they have? Did you question your belief?
Once all about self, employed in the Corporate World, having a corner office, wearing designer clothing, getting a weekly manicure and by outward appearances, everything looked OK. I mastered the art of acting as if; I figured the better I looked and the more I had the further from the pain I’d be and relief within reach. I recall having had lunch with a co-worker, and she suddenly started to cry… we were just acquaintances, so I was a bit surprised by her crying fit! I did not know crying was allowed, especially in front of a counterpart in a corporate environment… I most certainly was not available emotionally to be of any help to her. She says to me, “If only my life was more like yours.” At the time, I took it as a compliment… little did I know that soon descending from a slippery slope, two years later face detox, unemployment and bankruptcy believe that my vocation would be reduced to learning how to get through the night without chemical help.
Like most everything else in my life, including comparing, when I’m obsessing or being extreme, it’s unhealthy, and it fuels resentment, jealousy or an I’m better than attitude to the point it hurts. If I ever feel uncertain about a situation, I talk about it! I’ve been known to distort reality… talking about the problem with someone helps me sort it out.
Earlier today, playing around on Facebook, someone posted a picture of a bandage around their rib cage, most people responded with opinions about whether she should apply a bandage or wishes of a speedy recovery, normal stuff?! This is the statement that caught my attention…
There are healthy doses of comparison that help me when I compare my today to yesterday for the benefit of growing… using it as a way to measure my progress. Not to beat myself up! Not to mention, if I’m constantly comparing, how is it possible to be available or sympathetic to others?
I tell my kids practice not perfection makes progress possible! (Now say that 5 times really fast. Ha!)
Before getting sober the ability to live without altering my mind or mood chemically was lost, so now what?! I had to learn to live differently by practicing a new way; I wanted to do things perfectly but soon discovered that was impossible. I’ve made much progress over the last ten years, and when I compare a drunk life to the way life is sober, well there is no comparison… nope, none whatsoever and peace cannot be bought nor found at the bottom of a bottle. I continue to compare today to yesterday as a way to measure progress. Today, life is better, not perfect, better and that works for me!
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