Many years ago I used to compare my life and the dreams that I had envisioned for myself against that of my twin brothers life. Our entire lives we were compared to one another by others, therefore as we grew older it seemed natural to compare where our lives were similar and where they were different. Our entire childhood had been spent sharing everything; our bedroom, our clothes, our friends, our birthdays; everything. I remember going to friends houses alone and the first question asked was always, Where’s Joe? Our identities as a children were completely intertwined with one another.
As we have gotten older and each had our children, the differences in our lives have been significant. I am deeply grateful for the success my brother has experienced with his family. While I am deeply grateful for his success happiness, over the years I have struggled as a result of these comparisons that have been made throughout our lives. With the choices of my ex and the impact it has taken on my dreams for my family and children, the challenges we have each faced have been extremely different. My brother has been able to be with his children everyday of their lives, I on the other hand have been shortchanged in this regard and get 6 days a month to be a dad. This comparison would always be brought up whenever I would run into anyone who knew the two of us, as the first question always asked is, how’s Joe? I would always be asked about his family and how they were doing while trying to avoid the subject for me.
I found over the years that comparing the family my brother had and the family I desired was destroying me. I would avoid family gatherings, unless of course I had my children with me. I built walls around me as protection against the blatant difference in our lives as we are still being compared by so many of those who know us. I closed off as I continually heard I’m so sorry about what your going through. I am so happy for your brother. Why couldn’t others be happy for me too?
Finally after many years of avoiding comparisons in life, I gained the wisdom and the strength to put things in their proper perspective. I discovered the personal strength, the wisdom and the character that I had been able to develop as a result of the challenges I had been faced with in my life. The growth within myself that I experienced could not have come in any other way. The man I am today is a direct result of the life I have been given and without these differences in our lives I could not have become what I needed to become. I could never have become what I have become without first facing the challenges I have been given my past. I am profoundly grateful for these differences in my life when I realize the strength I have developed within me.
While others may continue to compare my life with that of my dear twin, I no longer fall victim to that game. Our lives are richly blessed and forever intertwined. We will always be twins and with that there will always be comparisons.
It is easy for many of us to get caught up comparing our lives with that of others. We long to be like them or have what they have, for some reason or another. These comparisons may seem normal, however as we compare our lives with anyone else we will always lose. Our individuality is what makes each of us great and unique! When we waste our time comparing we lose the time that could be spent being one of a kind. We aren’t meant to all be the same. There is tremendous power in each of us and the differences within us.