Not a competition

I know  people who insist that anything which happens to them is worse than anything that’s ever happened to me.  I listen to these people talk about the events of their lives and think, “It’s not a competition, my friend; it’s just about getting through the days of our lives.”

The drive to seem to have borne more pain or more complex circumstances forces people into nonstop complaint mode.  I understand the dynamics of this process because I have been that person.  The worst pain.  The saddest day.  The hardest struggles.  One of my siblings once called me a “person of superlatives”.  Somehow, I interpreted that as a compliment.  So not.

I understand what drove my need to complain.  It’s attention-seeking behavior.  I felt lonely; I complained.  The person hearing my complaint soothed me, expressed compassion, sympathy or even pity.  I got my “Notice-Me” fix and that sustained me.

But so many other ways exists to get the same fix.  Do something nice for someone!  They’ll thank you and praise you to high heaven — maybe even publicly! though,  I have found that I don’t need the public praise; the private thanks satisfies whatever itch previously got scratched by that “poor pitiful me” charade.

Most critically, I no longer need to be worse off than others.  I might actually be worse off than others; but I’m letting go of whatever satisfaction I previously gleaned from it.  I stepped out of the competition.  I took a deep breathe, and let that particular race pass me by.

I’m happy to be on the sidelines of that one.  If I’m going to compete for anything, I think I’d rather find something a whole lot more fun.  Like, the brightest smile!  Who’s with me in that race!?! And just to get us started, here’s a picture of my GOOFIEST smile:

My goofy smile

2 thoughts on “Not a competition

  1. Theresa

    Like the photo! And the sentiments. Just so you know, my memories of us as childhood cousin-buddies and later as adult cousin-buddies always make me smile — because YOU always made me LAUGH — sometimes hard enought to PIMP (figure it out!) Love you, cousin! How’s that for positive affirmation?!


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