Have you ever gazed into house windows when they are lit at night? Or studied photos to see what lies in the space behind the subject?
I used to do that a lot when I was a young girl. I believed it would provide important details about how other people lived. To my curious mind, that split-second scene or snapshot captured what I perceived to be a better, more interesting world than my own. As my father drove along dark roads, I would hungrily peer from afar and try to imagine what glorious things happened inside the random country homes. In photographs, I would study the sparse and limited backgrounds for some kind of clue. I had a very wonderful childhood, yet I needed to know: What did their home look like? How did they spend their time as a family? What made them happy?
Then, I would compare their lives to mine.
It wasn’t long before I realized this was a never-win situation. Whatever I dreamed up for others was always better than what I imagined for myself. It had to stop. Not the dreaming part. Never the dreaming. But the comparing? That had to stop. And it did. I don’t do it anymore. Now, I look around my own space and find ways to make it match my vision. When we get a glimpse of how another person lives – either via their home, a photograph, or on social media – we get only that: one glimpse, one moment, one perspective, one narrow view. This is not how they live the every day, and it is not how we should either. Rather than focus on someone else, stare into your own life. Be present in your moment. It is your perspective and panoramic view that matter.
If you don’t like what you see, change it. If you do like it, stay there. Linger. Laugh. Love. And above all, Live the life you imagine.
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~Inspired ME, Joyful BE