As Mother’s Day is now over and I reflect on how things went, I realize that as long as I don’t compare my Mother’s Day to anyone else’s, I am very happy. I spoke or texted with most of my children. I spent the day with my wonderful husband. I relaxed. I called my own mother to wish her a happy day as I’d visited with her a couple of days previous. All in all, I was quite happy and content.
Now if I start going down the lane of dare to compare, I find myself feeling either cheated or guilty depending on who I’m comparing myself to. If I compare myself to those moms who had wonderful dinners prepared by their children or spouses, then my frozen dinner seems a tad sad in comparison. But to be fair, I was quite content with my frozen dinner and my husband’s attempts to cook his own dinner involved the cardboard being left on the bottom of his frozen pizza when it went into the oven. So, I’m not sure it was in my best interest to have my husband prepare a meal. My children were either too far away to come or had to work. So all in all, I think the frozen meal was a winner and it really was what I had wanted.
If I compare myself to those who cooked wonderful dinners for their mothers and spent the day with them, or did a craft together etc. then once again I might feel like a poor excuse for a daughter. But this is why we should never compare ourselves to others. In fact, one of the easiest ways to feel bad is to compare ourselves to others.
When we start to compare ourselves against other people’s great accomplishments, families, financial status, looks and so on, we usually start to feel envious, jealous, inferior or inadequate. The flip side is that when we compare ourselves to others in their worst moments, we may have a tendency to judge, criticize or feel superior.
These feelings just add to our stress, anxiety and guilt, none of which are productive. Generally, we are comparing our worst selves to someone else’s best self. Let’s face it, who puts their worst moments on social media? Alternatively, we may be comparing our best selves to someone else’s worst, because there are people who post someone else’s worst moment on social media. The reality is we all have great moments, great successes and achievements as well as challenges and disastrous moments in our lives. And whether we are on the inferior or superior end of things, neither makes us happy.
Happiness comes from enjoying and appreciating what you have now, in this moment. We need to learn to love who and what we are today, and accept things as they are now. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to be better, but we need to learn to love ourselves and our circumstances in the present.
And if we do find ourselves changing for the better or having more, then let’s be careful not to judge someone else who doesn’t have what we have or isn’t measuring up to our standard. Feelings of superiority are not feelings of happiness.
So let me suggest we learn to appreciate where we are now, today, with all its messiness and imperfection. Love ourselves as is. No improvements necessary, we are worthy of being loved and accepted as we are in the present. Now, also give that same acceptance to others who may not be on the same path as we are. Remember, we all go through difficult times, and we never know when someone is going through their own struggles. We can all use more understanding, and kindness and less judging.
Join the journey to becoming a better, happier you, but at the same time loving who you are today!