Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Life Isn't Always As It Appears

I suffer from ‘Room B’ syndrome.  I always think other people are having a better time than me.  Social media has made this worse.  When comparing yourself to others, you rarely come out favorably”.
-Cherry Healey
I am a student of psychology, especially the study of personality types and specifically my own personality.  After many years I have come to realize that one of my flaws is envy.  I found this hard to accept at first because I tend to be a grateful person and I know I am blessed in many ways.  However, if I am completely honest I would have to admit that I am sometimes envious of others.  This gets tricky.  I am not envious of what I see in others.  I tend to be envious about what I imagine others have.  It is not their cars or houses or wealth that I envy.  It is the happiness and contentment I imagine they have that I wish I had for myself.  Let’s be honest.  All people have some kind of emptiness that they spend much of their life trying to fill.  It may take many years for an individual to know the cause of the emptiness they feel.  Although I was never homeless and I never went hungry, I realize now I was kind of poor compared to the way I live now.  It always seemed that other kids and other families had a better life.  In addition, my parents focused more on the physical needs of their children, i.e., food, a bed, clothes, and a roof, than on the emotional needs of their children.  I realize now this was a generational trait because my parent’s grew up during the Great Depression and World War II.  Additionally, as the oldest of six children, I quickly felt part of the background as younger siblings began to appear.  I don’t want to give the impression that I had a horrible childhood.  I never suffered, many other people had similar lives, and I also had many happy moments.  My point is that the needs of our adulthood are formed in our childhood.  When you feel like much is lacking, much is wanted.  I am not sure exactly why some tend to think everyone else has what they feel lacking.  When you feel envious of the life you imagine others have, remember that there is much about their lives of which you are unaware.  Many people are not as happy as they might look.  Many people’s relationships are not as perfect as they may appear.  That comfortable life may be the result of maxed out credit cards and multiple bank loans.  Every person, one way or another, is trying to fill a need and an emptiness.  On the positive side all of this can form us to be the good people that most of us are.  When you understand your own needs and pain, you can be more compassionate towards the needs and pain of others.           

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