There are all types of people.
In the world. In your town. Even within your own family.
And there is usually a period of time spent within each person's life where they feel like they don't have what it takes to make it. And occasionally, people get stuck there. Feeling like there is a finite amount of good things and they aren't the lucky ones.
They say that comparison is the thief of joy. And on so many levels that is absolutely true. When it is used as a weapon. When it is used as a metric to separate ourselves from others by allowing our differences, our experiences, and our choices to isolate us from those we compare ourselves to.
So what do we do when we get stuck here? When we find ourselves in a funk and we feel terrible because we just can't seem to catch a break? When we use comparison as a weapon against... ourselves?
We make the decision to use comparison as a tool to unite and lift us up. That's right! Comparison is also a creator of joy. Comparison is the means to connect with others over shared experiences and shared interests. When we meet new people we compare their expressed interests and experiences with what we similarly enjoy - what is more often called relating. And by comparison we discover more about others' dissimilar interests so as to direct our questions and curiosity.
But comparison also helps us rediscover all the good things we have.
Stay with me on this one...
When I wake up each morning I do relatively the same thing each day. I get my little girls lined out with their daily show and then I sit down with my coffee to spend 15-20 minutes journaling and doing my morning devotionals. I always begin my journaling with three things I'm grateful for.
But! I have a rule. I cannot use the same gratitude item twice. This forces me to be specific and creative. Sometimes this creativity leads me to comparison: I am grateful that I have a warm house and clean water because I know it is a luxury not all people have. I am grateful for children free from disease because I know that tragically so many are not. I am grateful for the alpenglow coming off the mountain outside my window because it is a beautiful view that some may never experience.
When we recognize that by comparison we are incredibly fortunate we can use it as a positive tool. Because there is no end to the good things in our lives. We simply need to practice the art of positive comparison and creativity to uncover them.
It is such a powerful practice when we find ourselves in the periods of life when the good things seem sparse. To focus on the haves rather than the have nots sets us up for a day of peace and contentment.
I would encourage you to try it out - during any period of your life but especially through a season of scarcity.
Always seek the good things. There are enough.