Attitude of gratitude

Last week I briefly wrote about people’s tendency to compare their marriage with other marriages. There can be a world of difference between what you see, rather perceive and what exists. How easy it is to paint a rosy picture of your relationship, despite a contrasting reality, courtesy social media.

If this disposition to compare is difficult to control (according to me there is nothing which is beyond our control, if it’s something within us), why not change the yardstick of comparison – compare with something worse than your circumstance/problem/condition/situation? It could be your marriage, state of mind,  financial status et al. When disturbed by your own marriage with irritating yet negligible issues, if you see a couple heading for a divorce since they cannot see eye to eye and fight at the drop of a hat, you should be happy to be not in that space. You should be pleased that your marriage is not precariously perched on a shaky platform. Comparing your marriage with a marriage where husband and wife fight tooth and nail in front of their kids, get abusive verbally and physically, should put you at ease and peace about not being in that situation. Instead of giving the outside world or the social media the leverage to become the benchmarks of success, count your blessings by seeing the less fortunate ones around you. When we see people less privileged than us, it gives us a feeling of gratefulness, for not being that unfortunate. Someone will always be better looking, more qualified, vastly experienced, moneyed, mentally and physically fitter, in a better relationship, so on and so forth. Hence comparison is a futile exercise. But when you still compare with people more distraught than you, it’s a learning experience to thank your stars. You start valuing things you take for granted. Undergoing therapy with me was a couple where the husband was a culinary art expert. The wife never appreciated his art until her best friend married a man who couldn’t even break an egg when she was sick.

Not only in relationships, there are many people who are not as well off or not as mentally healthy as you are. When you feel some tinges of self-sympathy towards yourself, look at people who are struggling with bigger challenges than you. Value your life and make it rife with an attitude of gratitude.