By Jill MacDonald
Comparison blinds you. It robs you of true perspective. When you compare, you cannot see the truth; you only see through a narrow lens.You see an incomplete or false picture. On social media, we see a lot of this. I have been guilty of this myself. In the past, when someone shared photos of their vacation, I was jealous. When they shared about the unexpected money they received, I was jealous. Or when they shared about an adventure they had with a friend, I WAS JEALOUS! I often wondered, “Why not me? Why can’t I receive those things?” That was my perspective, or my outlook, about what was shared with me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but those were false beliefs.Those thoughts, left unchecked, were robbing me of my happiness and trying to rob others of theirs! I have come to understand that life has its ups and downs. We are not always in an up swing, just as we are not always in a down swing.
My husband owns his own business. When you are self employed, you cannot always rely on income coming in at specific times like you can when you work for someone else. There were times when he was waiting to be paid, and other times the money would come in. It seemed like either a feast or famine. He would submit the payment request to the insurance company and wait for them to send him a check or directly deposit it into his account. One thing he could count on with most insurance companies is that when he did the work and submitted the payment request the money was on its way.
The same is true for us. We have a choice about the view with which we look at a situation. We can hear about a friend who is receiving the things we want and be jealous, or we can choose to be happy for them. Choosing that perspective used to be really hard for me when I had the perspective of why not me! But when I started practicing being truly happy for others and their successes, I started changing. I came to realize that at times I was on the receiving end of things and that success was flowing to me. Other times, things were harder. I wasn’t where I wanted to be, but I came to see that it wasn’t always going to be that way. It’s not that those times never happen, but choosing to see other people’s success and celebrate them can help you to avoid focusing on when you are in a downswing period of time. When I regularly started to be genuinely happy for others, I found that my downswings didn’t last as long. Or that I was able to manage my emotions better during those moments, even if they lasted longer than I would have liked. The more I practiced this, the more I started to find myself happier (not always but more often!) during those down swings! As this went on I found another level even beyond that! I started to see that as I was holding onto this perspective on a more consistent basis that my lows weren’t as low anymore! I found that what used to be my ceiling, or where I would cap out, now became my new floor! I found there were amazing heights that I was reaching that were even beyond what I thought I was capable of! This astounded me! I am looking forward to the future; it is so bright and full of life! I wake up, most days, excited to be me and to be living this life! Learning this has changed me for the better. I know it can do the same for you if you adopt these principles and practice them regularly!
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