In these days of social media, selfies, bragging rights and straight-up vanity on display, it is easy to believe that others are having a better time than you. That is when you may ask yourself, “How am I really doing?” You should then pull out your measuring stick and check off your own tick marks of achievement. Truly weigh in and hopefully after the assessment, you can sigh, “Not bad.”
It is easy to think that others have it better than you. It is not an uncommon concern for Shakespeare wrote centuries ago in his 29th Sonnet:
“And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy, contented least…”
But when you take an honest look at your personal accomplishments, you should pat yourself on the back and highlight what did go well. Perhaps you have raised a healthy, well-adjusted child, or received a special thank you from a supervisor or received a standing ovation after singing a moving solo at church or penned a novel or maybe you are simply that steady hand in the family. Whatever accolades come to mind, they should bring you a level of peace and you can whisper, “Aha!”
There is a children’s book by Aesop called The City Mouse and The Country Mouse where the city mouse leaves his humble abode to visit the city mouse that is surrounded by opulence and finery. But at a certain hour, the cat comes out, terrorizes them and they have to run and hide. The country mouse is distraught but the city mouse just sees it as a regular occurrence. The country mouse can’t wait to get home to his quiet home with limited things but engulfed in peace and quiet. It teaches that all that glitters is truly not gold for peace flows like a river.
I thought of one of my minister’s words when she said, “Be content where you find yourself and bloom wherever you are.” Don’t look over your shoulder at what others have or appear to have nor be fooled by the hype. If you need to make some adjustments to bring further contentment, then make them. But you should continue to carve out your own path, smile and remember that you are fine just as you are!
May 20, 2023
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