Wanting What Others Have

As I was scrolling through on social media this morning, checking out what has happened with everybody I follow since the last time I have been on it, I came across with a story. In this particular story, the gentleman was sharing the loss of his grandparents. He could not attend to their funeral due to him being in a different country with his partner. He is a very emotional, sensitive, and very genuine person whose capture in the story made me think.



He wrote the following: “I am very lucky that I can afford to spend months at a time in different countries so me and {my partner} can stay together but saying goodbye to both your grandparents via a video feed and not being able to hug your family members was an unfortunate consequence of that.” Hm! Interesting, isn’t it? After reading this, different thoughts popped into my head. I started to think about how not everything what it seems, because no matter what, each good thing comes with certain consequences and it is true the other way around. And on the other hand, how we are always aiming and wishing to have what others have because we are not willing to look at the beauty of our lives but rather make assumptions of others.



Comparison


Years ago, when Instagram started to become “the next best thing in your life”, like everybody else, I created an account for myself. It was not about to take selfies or to show what a life I am living. It was more about seeing others’ experiences, what they are doing, what kind of a life they are living. But the thing I did not know was how much affect it would have on my mental health. Because the more I was consuming it, the more I was feeling bad about myself. All I was seeing is beautiful people with perfect bodies, perfect families, perfect vacations, and perfect lifestyle. How everybody is doing well in life, succeeding, and having no troubles at all. This, slowly but surely, without me realising it, started to create mental health issues. Unnoticeably, I started to feel bad about my own life. I was not appreciating anything in it. I did not accept myself the way I was, I did not like the financial situation I was in. Simply saying, I was jealous of these people I was following. I wanted to have their experiences. I was not satisfied with my own life. I was keep thinking how come they have the perfect body and lifestyle; how come they do not have to do anything all day but still living like this.


It took me a bit of time to catch myself in this spiral I was living mentally. I kept comparing my life to others. I was keep saying how much I wish to be them, how much I want their lives, how much I wish to be on that tropical island on a month vacation like them, how much I wish to have that body and way of life. Once, I realised what was happening within me, once I saw how unhealthy and untrue thoughts were kept creating in my head over and over again just because I was looking at different pictures on an application, and once I noticed the signs of the Universe, I made changes.



Behind the Curtains


When you see other people posting beautiful pictures after one and another, when you see what a happy life they are having, when you see them traveling the World and when you see them spending your entire monthly salary in one evening, deep down you start wishing you would have those things, start wishing you would be able to do the same things. But just because you see one picture, that actually took one hour to take and was chosen from another 111 images; just because you get to see a 30-second-long story of their 24 hours, it does not mean that you know them, and it does not mean that you know their entire life. You are not aware of what is actually happening behind the curtains.


Because that rich and fabulous wife you follow will not show you how unhappy she is in her marriage. She will not share with you that she rather stays in a bad relationship with her husband just to have the luxurious life and money. And so just you know, she does not get the love you get; she does not get to smile as genuinely and freely as you get to do next to your partner. Or it might seem that a person is having the best time of his life next to his partner travelling around the World, staying from one beachy hotel to another but you are not aware of the sorrow and sadness he feels due to not being able to see his family, attending to a funeral of his loved ones or just simply having a family at all. Because it might seem all peachy and perfect but if the consequences of you travelling the World is that you have no one waiting for you to come home, no one to call to check in that you are okay, then I am sure you would think about twice exchanging your life with theirs.



Be Aware and Change


Being on social media, following other people’s lives is not a bad thing as long as you make sure that you are not falling into the trap of it, as long as you make sure that you are not letting it affect your life and most importantly, your mental health. You have to be aware of what you are consuming on it. Because that is what it is about. Consumption. When you are clicking on that icon on your phone and as soon as you start seeing the images, as soon as you start seeing the updates of people’s lives you follow, you are consuming. The same way when you are watching television, reading newspapers, listening to podcasts and so on. All these applications and sources of information are making you consume what they want you to consume. These platforms create stories and news in a way that is the most beneficial for them. They make you think what they want you to think, they create and affect your opinion and beliefs. And if you are not conscious enough, you will buy into them and that will have a huge effect on you and your life. Because your brain, your unconsciousness sees and hears everything. Things you do not even realise. And that is a powerful thing.


So, to make sure that you are not getting lost, to make sure that you are not losing you, change. First and foremost, be aware. Be aware of what and who you are following, reading, listening to. The different social media platforms, different websites, podcasts, different news sources are not bad things as long as you know how to use them wisely. Follow useful, motivational, inspirational accounts on Instagram, listen to podcasts that are uplifting and educational, read books that are helping you to grow and transform for the better. Use these platforms to educate yourself, to better your life, and to feel happier. Use them well. Do not use them to make you feel miserable and to make you start questioning your life and yourself, as well.