Longing for other people’s blessings instead of your own
I’ve been thinking a lot about being grateful for what I have, and looking for what I can achieve rather than feeling bad because someone else has more…or seems to have more. Yesterday, I wrote about how unhealthy it is to compare ourselves to others, and a while back, I blogged about learning not to feel like a loser compared to my old classmates who seem to have so much more. It may look like others are doing much better than we are, but it’s not always true. Tonight, I realized just how real life can be.
I often feel sad, and maybe a bit jealous when I see happy, loving couples with extended families and a great support system. I feel sad that I don’t have a caring spouse to help me and to be there for my kids. I feel sad that my parents are toxic and incapable of love. I see these “normal” families and homes where the husband isn’t throwing the wife around and the parents aren’t threatening/trying to kill the kids, and I feel the hurt of never having had a loving, healthy family. It’s not fair! I know that I married an abuser because of the way I was raised–because I didn’t know any better and never learned to expect anything better–so I feel cheated.
Tonight, I was Facebook surfing and looking at profiles of people I used to know. I found one person I had known very casually, and her page caught my attention. Why? Because the family was beautiful. The home was gorgeous. The vacation photos were stunning. The love was apparent. The kids were smiling, the husband and wife were looking at each other with love, the captions were happy. I got a bit of that jealous feeling again. I have struggled so hard to be a loving, good person and find the love I never had in childhood. I want a family. When is it going to be my turn to find a spouse who doesn’t abuse me and can respect me? When will my kids get to have a father? When do I get the cozy home?
But I looked further. I turned cold and I found myself crying. Why? Because that love-filled happy family with the nice home lost a smiling child to a tragic accident. Their happy beloved toddler was grinning one minute…and dead the next. I think I would literally die if that happened to my child. How could anyone go on? Then I realized that, even though that family was very blessed in many areas, they had faced more tragedy as well. They needed all that love and support to get through the worst thing that can happen to a parent. How can I feel jealous of their family support system when they are leaning on it to survive something so bad?
Instead of feeling sad for all the things I don’t have, I want to feel grateful for all the things I have.