When you feel like you are being eclipsed,
learn to dance in the shade.
©Assumpta Ozua 2017
I found those two lines on my phone today. I wrote it during a time when I felt like I was being overshadowed. Not my finest hour admittedly but I was being irrational and somewhat paranoid.
Thank God for my mother. She is one of the wisest women I know and extremely logical – particularly in the face of irrationality. A friend called me this morning sharing that she was feeling dwarfed by someone else and while our scenarios were different, I could empathise.
I did for my friend what my mother did for me and reminded her that comparing herself to someone else is futile and woefully unproductive. No matter who you are, if you look hard enough, there will always be someone better. Always.
It is easier said than done to avoid being sucked into the comparison game but it really is the thief of joy – I have written about this before. We live in a very visual age so we can see what others are doing all the time. If you find it difficult to stop judging yourself against other people’s measures then you have to learn to dance in the shade.
Oftentimes, it feels like everyone is living their best life just when you happen to be experiencing some of your worst moments. These are the times when one needs to hold on to perspective. Social media is a highlight reel.
Only a few people show you the highs and lows. Those that share their lows are considered brave / crazy / over-sharers / attention seekers… and much more. Despite your truth having the ability to free others, it can backfire. Either way, it is important to learn to filter. Particularly with all of the amazing Christmas and New Years boasts flying around.
I get excited when interesting things are happening for other people. It is a reminder of what is possible and gives me things to look forward to. Plus it feels better to celebrate than commiserate. My mum always taught us that if you cannot celebrate others than how can you expect others to celebrate you?
So, while the internet is awash with “new year, new new” “look out for my big plans” verbiage, I encourage you to focus:
At least that is what I endeavour to do. Another thought I have at the forefront of my mind is: “tell those who need to know. Not those who want to know. Some ears are made for retention while others for regurgitation. Know the difference.”
Do you know the difference?