Comparison is the thief of joy
Posted Jan 27, 2020 by Jacquie Robison
As a child, my parents spoke often about personal responsibility. Their number one message was that each of us has unique talents and gifts, and that we owe it to ourselves -- and to the world -- to develop those gifts. To unwrap them and use them. To put them into practice to grow ourselves and see where they might take us.
Cut to today. I'm a parent and find those words coming out of my own mouth as I talk to my daughter, Sofia. It's an important message for all kids, not just those with a physical difference. The photo here was taken recently at ballet practice. My girl (in the blue leotard) twirls with neurotypical kids and has been enjoying ballet since she was a small 4-year old wearing AFO's and still using a walker to move longer distances.
She's 10 now and continues to enjoy ballet. She steps independently, with just custom insoles in her street shoes and a small lift in one ballet slipper. Yes, there are adaptions for some of the positions and for performances, but she's engaged, she's included and SHE'S DOING IT. Her responsibility is to be the the best Sofia she can be. Not compared to anyone else, but just to realize her possibilities and potential. To explore her interests and show up to her life.
Years ago, I came across the Teddy Roosevelt quote "Comparison is the thief of joy." It resonated at the time, and it reverberates with more truth every day. I try hard to remind myself of it -- not just for my daughter, but for me, too.
The only thing each of us is the best at, is being us.
If you're working to do better today than you did yesterday, celebrate it!
If your pace slows some days, give yourself time. Space to recharge. And then, keep going.
It's not the speed, it's the direction.
Forward is forward.