Let’s Talk

Comparing Yourself to Others 

Q. Why do I keep comparing myself to others?

A. Let’s Talk! We are always editing, don’t you think?! Comparisons whirl in our thinking about “how we measure up” starting as early as infants and toddlers. Watch them grab toys from one another!!!! “MINE” is a huge word for young . . . and old . . . alike.

Most of us have a natural and automatic sensitivity to what we perceive we lack. That’s why Thanksgiving is so important for our hearts and minds. Giving thanks is the key to being content with whatever lack we feel we might have. As we give thanks, we see in our mind’s eye the many others who have even MORE maladies than we do, if we have eyes to see. The perspective spills out like the straw horn of plenty on the table as we give thanks. Counting our blessings soothes us and even corrects our vision like few things do. That’s when we “get it” and experience a true “ah-ha” moment.

A second remedy for the ailment of comparisons is to pray earnestly for those suffering around us. It takes our minds off “us” – that pesky joy-stealer called self. What are you thinking about right now? Others who need your prayers and your blessings, or, your own needs? Isn’t it glorious that we can choose to change our thoughts? I am thankful we can!

 For Deeper Reflection

 Philippians 4:4–7 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

1 Timothy 2: 1 “I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men . . . . ”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.

Ordinary, Small Gifts

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together 

Pumpkins1960s - Version 2Oh, to give thanks for the ordinary, small gifts in our daily lives. Laughter. Hugs. Phone calls. Texts. Gift cards. Photos. Sunsets. German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer sure has a refreshing perspective about thankfulness and a reminder not to brush off the seemingly tiny and insignificant things in our days.

Recently I found this October 1964 photo of my brothers and me with the first harvest of pumpkins from my family’s farmland outside our small town. Notice how my little hands are trying to make my dog Winky smile? This scene reminds me of being thankful for the really-not-small gifts of family, harvest time, old photos, and pets.

Remembering to give thanks for the ordinary, small gifts is vital to our staying resilient in adversity and moving forward in life. May we this holiday season remain mindful of the regular and usual routines and people that course throughout our lives day after day. Even the smiles from years gone by.

What “ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts” are  you thankful for today, for this week?

Brave & Resilient Tip #48: Be thankful for the really-not-small gifts in every day.