I used to have this childish thing I would do where I would imagine myself in opposing circumstances and ask myself which would I pick (if I could choose), over the other. It was always a comparison between two crude scenarios. Strictly hot or cold stuff. No lukewarm loopholes. A choice had to be made.
An example, is whether I would prefer to be blind or be deaf. Or if I would prefer to never be able to walk or have no hands. Or if I would prefer to be beautiful and dumb, or intelligent and culturally ugly. The list goes on.
I can’t explain why or when I started doing this. I can only attempt to reason.
Basically I think a part of me always felt that if I was able to put myself into the shoes of others in those situations, or on either opposing side, the result would be that I would realise how much I have or can do and feel grateful. I believe that was one part of it. Because the truth is sometimes you don’t appreciate all that you can see until you’ve lost your sight. Or all that you can hear until you’ve lost your hearing. And by forcing myself to pick either one or the other, I was able to see and acknowledge all the unspoken and unsung privileges of my day-to-day life that I usually can’t appreciate, what with the weight of the world on my shoulders and whatnot.
And then the other side of me had a macabre interest in torturing myself with these scenarios every so often. It’s the side that’s always reminding me that life can change in an instant and leave me in one of these situations. That side is a bit of an accuser. Relentlessly attacking any conceived notion that I would be able to adapt.
It’s not nice is it? And sometimes I used to get quite worked up about these scenarios and spend hours (I know…chronic over-thinker) thinking about what I’d do, how I’d handle it, and what I’d absolutely hate to happen.
I don’t know what triggered it, but one day I realised this was an extremely pointless & distasteful exercise, more a symptom of my obsessively analytical mind, than a good way to inspire me to appreciate life.
Sometimes those comparative scenarios still do crop up in my thoughts. Instead of getting lost down a rabbit hole of fictional outcomes though, I just take a moment to thank God for all that I can do in the light of what some others can’t & wish they could, dismiss the temptation to play out endless reactions and their consequences to eternity and beyond, and quite frankly…keep it moving.