Measuring Up

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. Charles Dickens

Measuring Up

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Linking in to the Comparison Blog Hop on Dangerous Linda & Everyday Gyaan

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?


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© copyright 2012-03-07
Measuring Up ... Comparison in Contrast CDVVQ-FDHHN-G47DY
“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.” Charles Dickens

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!


 

Comments

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Comments (32)
  • Avatar

    Kimberly Mar 7 2012 - 3:19 pm

    I completely get where you are coming from.
    While I haven’t walked in your shoes, I do know what it is like to compare and belittle yourself when you don’t measure up to everyone else.
    When I was diagnosed with PPD, I looked at other moms and I envied their perfect happy little lives and how seamlessly they dove into motherhood…but behind those happy faces there were struggles too.
    Everyone has them. We should look in ourselves and realize what we do have…and that we are perfectly flawed just the way we are ;)
    Kimberly recently posted..Just Beat It. Beat It. Beeeat It. Beat It.My Profile

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      mommetime Mar 7 2012 - 6:34 pm

      acting as if while slowly dying from the inside out and not being able to stop it ~sigh! even now it is my 1st line of defense… the good news I ‘KNOW’ differently and I don’t stay there as long as I once did.

      If we accepted “that we were perfectly flawed just the way we are” it would most certainly make life simpler :) Why is it that I must err on the side of complicated? :)

  • Avatar

    jan Mar 7 2012 - 3:53 pm

    comparing my yesterdays to today’s is how I have learned too! I was drunk for a very long time, I was also a lot of other things that goes with it. I no longer am that person, I have found me in all the mess, and as you say “life is better today, not perfect, better, and that works for me” no truer words could be spoken. Thank you. <3<3<3

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      mommetime Mar 7 2012 - 6:43 pm

      hugs to you my friend…

      I am no longer that person either and I am so grateful! I’m finding me one day at a time!

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    Martha Orlando Mar 7 2012 - 4:10 pm

    Marvelous, forthright, and beautifully honest post, Amy! You have shown both the wrong and right ways to compare and encouraged us to choose those which are healthy.
    Thanks and blessings!
    Martha Orlando recently posted.."Don’t Know Much About Algebra . . ."My Profile

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      mommetime Mar 7 2012 - 6:47 pm

      aw… thank you. I’m not sure at what point the clarity came, but the realization that covering my… was not the easier, softer or less complicated way. I’m just incredibly grateful for the awareness and a different way of doing life — honesty really is the best way to go… hmm. :)

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    SJ Mar 7 2012 - 5:33 pm

    It must of been a tumultuous time in your life to go from one end of the spectrum to the other and then to have that journey, the realisation and be able to come through how you have. To be a wonderful wife and mother. I admire you so much for being able to verbalise your thoughts and feelings how you do. I haven’t had your journey but I get to understand how it affected you and how you have turned it all around. I can see how that can be of comfort to a lot of people. I understood from a very young age that nothing is what it seems and neither are people, after all if I can smile on the outside when I’m dying on the inside then why can’t everyone else? Makes you wonder why we compare then doesn’t it? I wonder if it’s the beauty of the dream of perfection that gets us rather than the reality that lies behind. It’s strange how we look at things isn’t it?
    SJ recently posted..Hevs Shoot – Winter SolaceMy Profile

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      mommetime Mar 7 2012 - 6:51 pm

      whoa… you just stopped me in my tracks — it kind of felt like you popped out of the computer and bopped me upside the head… “Makes you wonder why we compare then doesn’t it? I wonder if it’s the beauty of the dream of perfection that gets us rather than the reality that lies behind. It’s strange how we look at things isn’t it?” Oh my… Yes…

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    Dangerous Linda Mar 7 2012 - 7:19 pm

    Hi, Amy! ~

    Beautiful and poignant! I’m not only grateful that you are my friend, I’m just plain grateful you are in the world doing what you’re doing! Rock on, Girlfriend!!!

    Sharing at https://www.facebook.com/DangerousLinda ;-)

    XOXOXO
    Dangerous Linda recently posted..comparison:“thief of joy?” blog hopMy Profile

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      mommetime Mar 7 2012 - 7:53 pm

      now you’ve gone and made me misty eyed :) … Aw. thank you my friend… your kind words are very much appreciated!

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    Jim Mar 7 2012 - 7:41 pm

    Hi Amy,
    Nice post.
    “if I’m constantly comparing, how is it possible to be available or sympathetic to others?” and a good question to ponder.
    Thanks for another view on this topic.
    Jim recently posted..Getting Back to BasicsMy Profile

  • Avatar

    Savira Mar 7 2012 - 8:09 pm

    you have done beautifully with you life . You have crossed rocky seas to be where you are now and that deserves acknowledgment…Comparing or comparisons can suck a person into a make belief world…often one looses perspective…
    Savira recently posted..Comparison: The Thief of JoyMy Profile

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      mommetime Mar 8 2012 - 8:37 am

      thank you… I appreciate you for saying that! I agree, and very well said “can suck a person into a make belief world…often one looses perspective…”

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    Debra Mar 7 2012 - 8:52 pm

    I’ve always appreciated the quote by Emerson you used at the beginning…
    “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

    And the quote by Dickens, “There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.”

    You couldn’t have chosen better quotes for this post Amy. Besides practice, how DID you turn your life around? Thank so for sharing your story! It just goes to show, there’s always hope.
    Debra recently posted..Counting StonesMy Profile

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      mommetime Mar 8 2012 - 9:59 am

      Thank you. I like to incorporate quotes in my post. I reached a point in my life when I became willing to receive guidance from others. I concur, there is always hope… even when we think there is none!

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    Clarence Mar 7 2012 - 9:17 pm

    I know that I have not read all the posts from other bloggers. I have to catch up. There are a lot of great thoughts and great responses to this great discussion, but I have to say that this is the most wonderful and wise post that I’ve read to date. Thank you so much. It’s a nice story about recovery, but the simple comparing insides and outsides: that’s so core.
    Clarence recently posted..Blog Hop: Is Comparison the Thief of Joy?My Profile

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    Corinne Rodrigues Mar 7 2012 - 9:21 pm

    I’ve been there, Amy, dying on the inside and pretending all is well – I didn’t do alcohol but was addicted to pain – same thing, different bottle. I’m so glad that we’ve journeyed out of that phase of our life. And yes, I compare with gratitude that I was able to move out of it.
    Striving for perfection is, I think, a way of inviting pain – we know we’ll never get there, but oh how we can beat ourselves up about it.
    ‘Practice not perfection makes progress possible’ – I’m going to put that up on my soft board at my desk.
    Thank you for sharing so authentically, Amy. It touched me very deeply.
    Much love……
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..In Conversation With Arvind DevaliaMy Profile

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      mommetime Mar 8 2012 - 10:06 am

      Ooo… yes it is! I agree, perfection most certainly invites pain! I am so flattered that you are going to put that on your desk :) I am so incredibly grateful to have met you in our corner of the cyber world… you brighten my day!

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    Janaki Nagaraj Mar 7 2012 - 10:26 pm

    Lovely post. I liked the quote by Emerson. It is when we taste failure that we enjoy success….for every downfall, you have to pick yourself and go on…with experience comes wisdom. Well done.

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    rimly Mar 8 2012 - 7:49 am

    How true Amy. Really enjoyed it.

    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.in/2012/03/aftermath.html
    rimly recently posted..AFTERMATHMy Profile

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    katy Mar 8 2012 - 11:20 am

    “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!”

    beautiful words to describe how being sober for 10 years feels. I am so grateful for you out here in cyber world and real world doing the amazing deal a day at a time.

  • Avatar

    Andy Mar 8 2012 - 6:41 pm

    Hello Amy.
    I really enjoyed this straight from the heart post. Congratulations on your sobriety. Every day sober is a day of living & loving yourself. Wishing you well as you continue on your journey. Thanks for sharing.
    Andy recently posted..THE PAINTING AND THE POETMy Profile

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    Mary Hudak-Colllins Mar 9 2012 - 6:20 am

    What an authentic post. You have opened your heart and laid it out there, for all to read. I like your idea of what you share with your idea ‘practice, not perfection…’ . That is perfect in itself :)
    Mary Hudak-Colllins recently posted..{this moment}My Profile

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      mommetime Mar 9 2012 - 4:33 pm

      Thank you… perfectionism is difficult to break, I still struggle with if I can’t do it perfectly, why do it? It only fuels procrastination. progress. progress. progress. :)

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    Bongo Mar 10 2012 - 5:02 pm

    I love your authenticity….a way to use comparison without losing joy….I have found that comparison has been a thief in my life….I have been talked about with negativity…I have been ignored…even shunned by my own church..not to mention my family….it hurts….because of their ignorance they fail to see ME..they fail to see the huge heart I have..they fail to see my love…yes for me comparison has been a thief…..as always…..XOXOXOXO

    http://bongoisme.blogspot.com/2012/03/comparison-thief-of-joy_01.html#axzz1okUsxRDs

    • Avatar

      mommetime Mar 11 2012 - 8:43 pm

      I am so sorry that your experience has been negative… I can only imagine now difficult that must be. Wishing you peace and comfort.



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