I've discovered that it's dangerous to compare who you are now to who you were then.
I've been victimized by my own negative self-talk throughout my life, and am only now beginning to realize my own worth. There have been times that I invited people into my world who confirmed my worst thoughts about myself. That's part of what happened in my marriage. I married someone who had his own self-esteem issues and a critical nature. On some level, I thought that if I could become important in his eyes, then maybe I wasn't as bad as I thought I was.
That process worked for a long time. Especially once children came into the picture I was living my dream. My boys are 2-1/2 years apart. I LOVED being the mom to those little guys. We had so much fun together as a family and in different combinations.
I worked outside the home, volunteered, fixed dinner at least five times a week, crafted, was involved in my church, played board games with my kids constantly, did all the housework and home maintenance repairs.....and now I look back wondering how I did all of that.
That's where the comparison becomes dangerous. I look for my energy and self-management skills and can't find them. They seemed to disappear right about the time I was in my late 40s.
I'm still a list-maker and I'm still fairly organized. I follow the Flylady, too. I still alphabetize my spices. However, I accomplish less than half of what I used to even though I no longer have young sons and all of their school/sports-related functions to deal with. What happened?
I was tormenting myself with guilt. Was it my health? My age? Depression? I've thankfully come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter.
Who I am now is who I am now. What is, is. Each time I check something off my list I feel good. I'm still volunteering, still working outside the home, still caring for my loved ones (even though they are now more of the 4-legged variety) and know that I have a lot more wisdom than the 30-year-old version of myself.
I will probably always struggle with feelings of self-worth. Whether it's in my DNA or I'm a product of my environment doesn't matter. Each step I take in this journey I find new strength to confront those demons and push them aside. Get thee behind me, Satan!
I've conquered the comparison game. Not only am I unique to humankind, I'm not even like myself from years past. And that can be a very good thing.