It’s a bit ironic that on the ten year anniversary of The Diddy Club, my dog walking company, I spent the morning at Urgent Care.  My back went out from trying to wrangle a 165 pound Great Dane, whom I admittedly still adore.  It was very interesting to acknowledge how much my life has changed in those ten years, and all the amazing people I’ve drawn into it.

So often, it seems, instead of reflecting on our own personal journey, we are comparing our lives to others; to see where we rank, or what we are missing.  I was talking with a friend the other day who felt like she was getting overly flustered at work, and she was comparing herself to her colleagues who seemingly had it all together.  She was being very hard on herself and insisting she was flawed.  As we talked, I asked her how she knew that her colleagues didn’t get flustered?  How did she know they had it all together?  In reality, she didn’t, but she projected that image onto them to magnify what she wanted to address and grow within herself.  We humans do this, all of the time.

This desire to better ourselves, by comparing ourselves to others, is how fad diets exist, and millions of women’s magazines and personal care products are sold each year.  In fact, billions of advertising dollars are spent to ensure we maintain this mindset.  However, in a healthy mindset, when we focus on only comparing ourselves to who we were yesterday, we see communities of people coming together to do yoga in the park, or join study groups, or attend symphonic concerts; celebrating who they are as they grow themselves.

Since hurting my back, it became apparent to me that over the past ten years, my life has been completely rewired.  I honestly think my address is about the only thing that has stayed the same!  And, when I allow myself a comparative of who I was ten years ago to who I am today, I’m not even sure these two people would be recognized as the same if they were standing side-by-side.  Physically, sure; I’m within five pounds of the ten years ago me, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually—unrecognizable.  To me, there is no race to get to a destination in life; it’s not about a miracle cure, but rather, it’s all about taking one single step forward every single day.

As I sat next to my boyfriend on the couch last night, talking about religion, spirituality, and doing a meditation; him spending days of his vacation helping me walk the dogs in my pack due to my injury, I am reminded of my growth.  I could never have received this incredible person into my life ten years ago; I wasn’t ready for him then.  When I reflect on my friend who came by right after the injury happened, to check on me, and walk my dogs for me; or my colleague who took the city bus to come to my home to massage me for two hours—I can confidently say, I did not know how to respectfully maintain supportive relationships like this ten years ago.

This is the comparison I encourage; who were you ten years ago? A year ago? Yesterday? An hour ago? A moment ago? Did you recognize something about yourself in those time frames, compared to who you are at this very moment, that shows you more aligned or aware of who you want to be, and what you are seeking for your life?  Did you feel your gut twist or smile to reveal where you’re headed? That is growth.  Sure, you are likely going to need a few new tools to maintain growth in your life, but awareness is a crucial first step towards acquiring them.

When we keep our comparison to our past and present self, we are also able to bring focus to our gratitude.  When we compare ourselves to others, we are likely to forget to embrace gratitude for the certain blessings we have experienced along our path.  Gratitude for the illness that made us more aware of what we have.  Gratitude for the incredible beings we celebrate life with.  Gratitude for the awareness we are finding within ourselves.  We can’t have that when we are externally focused on others, and what they seemingly possess.

I’m grateful to the exuberant Great Dane who is in my life, because his actions allowed me this reflection.  What about you?  How do you compare to the you of yesterday?

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *