“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Thanksgiving was hard this year. Holidays are like that for me sometimes. Generally, I am fine and get through them when I focus on what I am thankful for and stick to the present moment. Some years are easier than others – this one was rough. I found myself floundering in comparison despair (I don’t know who coined this phrase, but it’s awesome). I spent way too much time on Facebook taking in all the amazing family and friend photo shares. At first it felt great to witness everyone’s good cheer, then a small knot in my stomach began to form…and then…. I pulled out all the stops and threw a full blown pity party in the town of “My life is not enough” – population 1.
Once I figured out what was going on and that all my ancient core wound stuff was getting poked, I knew I had a choice – I could shut it all down, get curious and go within – write, paint or sing. Or, I could wallow – poke at the old wounds and beat myself up for doing so. I won’t lie, for awhile I wallowed. Then, the wallowing became old and tiresome. I realized what I really wanted to do was investigate what was going on inside.
Lately I can tell that things are shifting in me because I no longer want to stay stuck in the old stuff. That doesn’t mean old triggers, losses and pain magically disappear, it means that I recognize when they are happening and have a choice about what happens next. Life is full of ups and downs, sorrow and joy and the spaces in between. My Thanksgiving really wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t like what I could see on social media or commercials. For Christmas, I may take a social media vacation and leave myself notes on the fridge about how my life is my very own and it won’t look like anyone else’s. Until then, I will deck my halls and be jolly in a way that works for me and know that my way is my own… and just fine.