Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Tribe Life Tuesday: Contentment over Comparison

Have you ever heard the phrase don’t fall into the comparison trap”? We’ve all heard this phrase before, but is it actually possible to avoid? And why do they call it a trap? I have so many questions, few answers, and merely experiences to draw upon. So, let’s discuss what we can.
First, let me remind you that there is no one like you and we need the best version of you while we’re here!
Now, let’s make sure that we’re all on the same page. Dictionary.com defines comparison as:
1. the act of comparing. 2. the state of being compared. 3. a likening; illustration by similitude; comparative estimate or statement.
What the heck is a comparative estimate? Ha! That’s enough to make me want to quit before I begin. It seems like comparison is all about measuring up to something created by some unknown person for some undefined reason. Comparison is like a dare to perform against some mysterious, unrealistic standard. YUCK! Not only does it seem like you’re playing a game that’s stacked against you, but it’s as if the rules of play don’t exist. That may be why they call it a trap; comparison confuses you and then you just fall into it.
I have found that comparison shines a spotlight on what I don’t have, casting what I do have to the shadows.
Comparison usually wounds more than it heals.
Comparison is most often weighed on unbalanced scales.
If you will allow me to be completely transparent with you-- comparison becomes a struggle for me when the boundary lines of my life get blurred. Comparison so easily turns into judgement which quickly turns into competition which leads me to become a warrior woman, determined to prove myself, but come on! There are plenty of other things more worthy of my time and energy. Yet I still fall into the trap. UGH! Does this sound at all familiar to you?
So what is it that drives you and me to compare? For me, it can come from a lack of thankfulness. Comparison can enter when I take my eyes off of the most important things, choosing to focus on trivial matters. Other times comparison is fueled by feelings of inadequacy based on assumptions or actions of others.
There can be many triggers for comparison, but I’ve only found one remedy: contentment. Let’s return to dictionary.com to see what it says about contentment:
1.the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.
Let’s try to find contentment today and every day, shall we?
That sounds pretty great, right? But in order to find contentment, we first have to do some self-assessment. Are you ready? It begins with answering this question: What satisfies you the most? I would love to hear your answer, be sure to comment below (remember that you can comment anonymously).
For me, there is no greater satisfaction than when I have the opportunity to serve those who have nothing to give in return. It’s more than doing a good thing or “scratching the good deed itch”; I am the most satisfied when I’m living a life of generosity. This way of life opens the door to another beautiful part of contentment that we will talk about very soon.
There is a lot to “live up to” these days and if that is our sole focus, at the end of the day, I think we will be sorely disappointed. True contentment is not found in things but in living everyday fully aware and full of hope of the future.
I want to leave you with this beautiful quote that I’ve found to be absolutely true:
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” ― Rabindranath Tagore
I hope that this inspires you to take today and live well. Then repeat tomorrow!

See you next Tuesday!

No comments: