Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The dangers of comparison living

Always appear to be someone better
You know there will always appear to be someone worse

From Equality by Howard Jones
It's often tempting, when times get tough, to take a look around and take comfort in the fact that my life could be much worse. In the face of BR's progressive MS, I even find myself making comparisons to "future me", as in "someday in the future, I will be longing for today."

The comfort that downward comparison living provides is temporary at best, and can lead me on a downward spiral if I'm not careful. I end up setting a standard of living that is minimally above where I don't want to be, instead of achieving the life I was put here to live.

Upward comparison living is just a dangerous. I tell myself that I am looking up to others to set goals for improving my life, but I really end up feeling discontent for the life I have over things I don't need. I've seen friends over-extend themselves financially just to "keep up with the Jones".

So I try to catch myself when I start in with these thoughts, remind myself of all the good stuff I've yet to achieve, and get on with my life.
Everyone has got their character
Everyone has got their personality
But the longing is still the same
So what is the answer? Be easy on yourself
Make yourself feel at ease. Maybe that's the answer


Herrad said...

Hi Steve,

We have to be gentle with ourselves.


Richie said...

Today is ours and we just have to take what we can from it. Future times are uncertain and can be only explored when they are current. I do not try to chart them. The burden of knowledge is too much. Enough of my immediate future is laid out in front of me. It can only be worse than I imagine because it can not be better. I leave comparison to those with perspective. I am immersed in experience.Today I am OK. Just get through this one. Make it good.