Comparison. It gives us a baseline, and shows us our opportunities and threats. It is normal human thing to do and comes with it’s benefits and dangers.
When we compare our hardships to others and the thought may cross our mind that so many other people have it so much worse. This can be good if it gives you a mindset of gratefulness. So many talks, studies, books have been published sharing the benefits of being grateful. When we say “it could be worse” because we are grateful for what we have, comparison is beautiful.
“It could be worse” may also hold us back from something better. This phrase could stops us from taking the necessary action to advance in our lives. Stop us from being happy. It can turn the unhappy into complacent. This can be dangerous to us, and those around us.
For me, it was my marriage. I was unhappy and for many years I was complacent. People around me spoke about the grass not being greener on the other side, and that it is better to deal with the devil I knew than the devil I didn’t know. The path to unhappiness was paved with comparisons, with “It could be worse”, and I had no idea how to get off that path.
How does someone get unstuck from this?
I can’t pinpoint the moment I knew I needed my life to change, because the thought crossed my mind many times. It was in the moment that I crossed from knowing my marriage made me unhappy to living in my truth that I finally was free. I crossed over. I found the new path, the new devil, and the new grass. And I will tell you, it could absolutely be worse, because I have a wonderful life. The grass grows very green here where it is maintained. And the devil on this side is one that is kept in check.
Being a single mom does not hold me back from happiness. I am not destitute. I am not desperate. I am not poor. I am not a stereotype.
It could be worse. For that, I am grateful.