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Let me compare me to a summer's day. Saturday September 27, 2014

I tend to get stuck in comparisons. At bad times, but even in rather good times, moodwise, I can wake up feeling thoroughly unhappy because I have not won a prize in my field of work, because I haven't saved lives, I don't live in Mexico and because I am not rescuing any orphans.

This is based on some very high standards I seem to have set for myself, and a nagging feeling that I am not living life to the fullest. That I could and should be more. I can't shake it off.

I have never been intimidated by famous people and their looks or wealth, but there is a select group of people who seem to do all these worthwhile things. Not just Bono and Angelina, some are friends of friends and I admire them when I see their progress on Facebook. Doctors, journalists, politicians who really do win prizes, write books, travel all the time, go to refugee camps, make things a little better there. Apart from admiration, they can make me feel angry too, when I'm vulnerable. I bet they had easier lives, brilliant upbringings, that they are not held back by periods of low mood, grrr, hmppff, etc.

It's a simple fact that I am not making life better for orphans or refugees. But it's important for me to realise that I am not making it worse either. Constantly comparing myself to the absolute top layer of society, feeling inadequate to have not risen to their level, doesn't help anyone. It doesn't push me into action, it just makes me feel bad and even worse because I can see how childish it is.

As far as comparisons go, I am in a better place than 90 percent of the world population. I am healthy. I am loved. I have a happy toddler and seem to be a good mum. I'm ok work wise. I feel safe. I never have to worry about feeding my child or keeping her warm. If I really want to compare myself, I should look at the whole range of lives and destinies and wake up feeling thoroughly grateful with my life. And then I should donate some money to people who help orphans in refugee camps.

A Moodscope member.

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G Sat, Sep 27th 2014 @ 6:12am

I start to practice mindfulness of gratitude everyday some months ago and I am indeed happier and less anxious nowadays :)

Sarah Sat, Sep 27th 2014 @ 6:34am

Thank you for this Rose. My feeling is you are helping people by being an active member of the moodscope community. Also looking after a toddler you are contributing to the next generation, when she is older and you have more time who knows where your path of life will take you.

Hopeful One Sat, Sep 27th 2014 @ 7:22am

You are a beautiful unique individual. There is no one exactly like you on this planet. I wonder if it was this realisation and the consequences this type of thinking they lead Oscar Wilde to observe" Aa comparisons are odious"

Anonymous Sat, Sep 27th 2014 @ 8:29am

Yes, you are helping us Moodscopers when we are feeling low. :-)
Nice blog.

Lex McKee Sat, Sep 27th 2014 @ 8:35am

The natural pattern for the mind is to ask, "Compared with what/whom?" We have a need to control these comparisons so that they serve us, work for us.
I've found great comfort in the Starfish Story... recorded for you here:

heather Sat, Sep 27th 2014 @ 8:37am

Oh Rozie - how much this has struck a chord with me (and I hadn't really realised it). Thank you so much. I am quite sure you are a lovely person, giving to many, and doing your best. which is all any of us can do. Love from Heather xx

Anonymous Sat, Sep 27th 2014 @ 6:10pm

High expectations and comparing ourselves to others are really drags.....yet we all do it...and my question is why?? Dave

Anonymous Mon, Sep 29th 2014 @ 10:26am

What a beautiful little story Lex! One starfish at a time!

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