by Sonia Devine
“Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.” ~Buddha
It’s in our nature to compare ourselves with others. The ability to weigh one situation up against another helps us make decisions and live our lives productively.
The downside is that when you constantly compare your own life with those of other people, you will always come up short.
Over-comparing causes envy. Envy is the feeling or sensation we have when we want to get something that someone else has and we can’t be happy for them when they have it.
Getting stuck in a cycle of envy is just about the best way to ruin your life. Fortunately, there are several ways to deal with envy that will guide you toward happiness and well-being.
Don’t Compare Your Cutting Room Floor With Someone Else’s Highlight Reel
Have you ever seen anybody post an unflattering photo on Facebook? Let’s face it, you rarely read about someone fighting with their spouse, hating their job, or declaring bankruptcy. Most people show you what they want you to see—a highly edited, glossed-up version of their life.
The next time you feel envious about someone else’s life, remember that you’re only looking at part of the story, the part they want you to see.
Think of something that another person has that you want. For example, maybe someone you know is far more popular than you. On the surface it may appear that they are surrounded with people who look up to them, and that they are well-liked and respected.
But in reality people might have a different view of them behind closed doors. In this case, the actual reality and what we perceive as reality are two very different things.
Even the most enviable lifestyle has downsides. For example, many people covet the glamour and glitz of the rich and famous. But have you every sat down and thought about what kind of life a famous person has?
Ask yourself if you’d enjoy someone jumping out of a bush and taking a snapshot of you in your grubby tracksuit pants while you’re collecting the newspaper from the front lawn.
There are always two sides to every coin. What you think you see is not necessarily the reality. So the next time you get caught up in envy, always remember that unless you are that person you don’t really have the whole story.
Isn’t It Already Here?
I am by nature a private person, but I wasn’t always that way. In my twenties I was invited to every party, had scores of friends, and was (in my own mind, at least) funny, clever, and popular.
As the years went by I became more introverted, and not too long ago I started beating myself up for not having many friends. Why wasn’t I popular like other people?
One particular couple that my husband and I love catching up with came to mind. Whenever we wanted to see them, we had to literally book months in advance because they were so busy with other social commitments.
Then I started to really ask myself, what is the essence of what I think popularity will bring me? The answer was simple: I wanted to feel a sense of connection and belonging.
It was at that time I realized that the essence of what I wanted was already here. I have a loving husband, a great family, a couple of good friends who would do anything for me, and plenty of time to do what I want.
I also realized that I would absolutely hate not having a moment to myself; being popular would probably make me pretty miserable.
So the next time you feel as though you’re missing out on something that somebody else has, drill down into the essence of whatever you think that thing would give you and ask yourself, is it already here?
Read the full article at Tiny Buddha