Could we be anymore flooded with images of what we should be or need to be? Who decided when we are supposed to make certain landmarks in our lives and what our value is or isn’t if we don’t? What about our choices? For instance, why is a woman looked at strange if she chooses to not have children in her life?
I remember back in my old undergraduate days studying statistics in social sciences. Society creates these “norms” for living life. For some reason we are supposed to adhere to them or we are looked upon as deviant. The hard part about trying to live up to society’s norms is we all have a different idea of achievement and what that means to us. We also have different ideas about what is beautiful in a person. Some look on the outside. The more wise, I think, look on the inside.
So who is society? The answer is us; we are. Then if we are those who are not “boat rockers” we want to go with the flow of what the majority thinks we should or should not do. We go with what the majority puts out there how we should or should not look, act, create, succeed. The list can be long. If we are those who are not comfortable in our own life’s skin we will begin to compare ourselves to those, we think, or believe are. If we are not apt to step up to the plate to make change. We will compare ourselves to those who we believe or think are more impressive. There are a lot of reasons we might think we missed the boat if comparison is the way we live our lives. Stick to the public’s norm and be happy? I don’t think so. Look like someone else and be admired and confident? I highly doubt it. Achieve what someone else has achieved and be satisfied with our lives? Not likely.
Living life by comparison is a very self defeating way to live. I am not sure why we always tend to think that life is greener in someone else’s bank account, marriage, family, business, or clothing size. If you are one who finds yourself living in this way, I am willing to bet you suffer from self esteem issues. How can anyone think highly of themselves if they are not looking at their lives as they truly are meant to be? How can there be gratitude and acceptance? No one can keep up with living for someone else, not even for societies poorly thought out norms.
The only way anyone can be truly happy is to learn to carve their own path. This week, look at your outer shell with admiration. Your body got you through a lot of things in life. See what you have as plenty. Many have a lot less than you do. Respect your bank account. If you have some funds in it then you have a lot more than nothing. Admire your life’s choices. Good or bad, you chose them, and that makes them important. I challenge you this week to not live by comparison. It’s a lonely, empty, self defeating place to be. Branch out and be truly who you are. There is no duplicate in the world who is like you, so don’t try to duplicate yourself to be like anyone else!
Loving you from here,
Dr Rev Jenine Marie Howry