“Don’t let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.” (Robert Louis Stevenson)
Ah, I think we all struggle with this. I see two separate thoughts here to consider:
- Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’
- Be true to who you are and not who you think others expect you to be
I think we all to a certain extent try to appear better off than we actually are, unless of course we actually are truly wealthy. I can think of no better example of this in my life than with my two estranged sisters. During the trauma of the last 6 years, I didn’t want to care about what they thought of me and whether or not they thought I was happy. I never lied about any good things in my life but I may have hoped they would find out about them and see that I was just fine without them. For some reason, my family has always thought that my husband and I barely squeak by financially – who knows why – and the truth is we are better off than some others in my family and for a while, I wished they could realize that. But after the trauma, after my son’s wedding and facing my family and my fears, I see things differently now. I don’t care what they think of me or if they think their lives are better than mine – who cares! I no longer wish for them to see me like them; I finally like who I am again and there is nothing wrong with who I am. Money and material things are not more important than the person I am inside and the way in which I treat others in this world. I started becoming a lot happier when I stopped trying to live for others and just finally accepted myself. Screw the Jones’ – their lives are probably exaggerated anyway.