“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Oh my. I could talk about this for hours and hours. Days and days. Forever and…well, you get it.
For pretty much my entire life, I have compared myself to others. As a (painfully) quiet adolescent, the comparison centered on my friends, on my perception of what I so desperately wanted to look like/be good at coupled with the complete cluelessness of a teenager.
Now as a 27-year-old, the questions remain, they are just delivered in a different way. I see the lives of so many on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and on carefully curated blogs, and they look so right. Better even. As a self-proclaimed serial comparer, I should have steered clear of those platforms about 5 minutes after I joined. But my stubborn nature wants to beat this compulsion. I want to learn of social media and the larger digital community can be a help, not a hindrance. Like it or not, these platforms are not going away. This issue is not going away. So what can I do?
- Simply be aware Aware that no one’s life is a perfect as it looks on Instagram. That no one’s marriage is as completely blissful as it seems on Facebook. Everybody struggles, probably daily, and those beautiful online representations may sometimes come from those struggles.
- Realize there are two sides Comparing hurts everyone. I often build up resentment towards someone without any provocation. Why would I ever want to purposefully hurt a friendship, strain my marriage, harbor anger, when it all stems from my feelings of inadequecy? It’s simply not worth it.
- Know your truth So often, these comparisons begin when I lose sight of my truth, of who I really am. As a child of God, I am loved. As a wife, daughter, sister, friend, I am loved. Life is never perfect, I will mess up a lot, and I will do things right a lot. I will have bad days and good days. I will feel beautiful and ragged. I will be positive and negative. And. So. Will. Everybody. Else.
For another beautiful look at the comparison thief, read here.