Friday, December 30, 2011
Content – to be or not to be?
While perusing a social networking site today, I saw the status, pictures, and videos heralding great 'success' for a childhood acquaintance. Everything I saw oozed glamour, success, riches, and fortune. This person looked very happy and certainly looked like they were enjoying life to the fullest.
Hooray for them, right?
Well, not exactly.
Viewing this 'success,' I immediately felt inferior, less than, and excluded. I began to question whether my life had been successful. I began to compare, measure, and weigh the 'success' of my life compared to what I was seeing on my screen. The differences are vast, to say the least.
I turned from the screen, sickened by the thoughts and feelings. As I have learned through 12-step work in Celebrate Recovery, I had to find the root of these feelings, then resolve this sudden conflict in my mind.
It came as no surprise to trace my feelings back to my childhood.
I remember disliking this person when we were kids because their family was wealthy and I believed them to be arrogant and elitist, part of the 'beautiful people' group that I was not part of and would never be accepted in. I believed that they (the 'beautiful people') looked down on me for any number of reasons – clothes, weight, family occupations, grades, etc . . . you name it, I could feel inferior about it back then!
Ouch. These are not nice things to think about someone else, but that was the way my adolescent mind worked.
I sat back and closed my eyes, trying to make sense of all this. Just this morning, I had reached the end-of-year conclusion that I was “content” with my life. Truly satisfied with my whole life. It felt wonderful!
So, what had changed in the last few minutes that I spent looking at this person’s life on my screen?
Nothing had changed, not a single thing.
And then it hit me - there’s nothing wrong with my life!
And there’s nothing wrong with this other person’s life, either!
And the beautiful part is that I do not need to put the other person down, be judgmental of their success, or try to find fault with them in order to feel good about myself or my life. My life is great! I can be happy for them, wish them well in their life’s adventures, and yet embrace my life for everything it is and everything it isn’t.
I truly enjoy my life - the successes, the failures, the lessons, the teaching, and the growth. I have a growing relationship with God and seek His guidance in everything. I have a wonderful husband who strives to be the spiritual leader of our home. I have a home. My bills are paid. We’re both employed. We have genuine friendships. Who can ask for more?
I am blessed far more than I deserve.
And I now I can say, "Hooray for them!"