Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Society taught me to make comparisons from a young age. These comparisons ranged from physical to personality traits as well as differing intelligence levels. I wasn't raised in a home that made societal expectations a family expectation. Quite the contrary, actually. I was taught to live life in a way that I felt comfortable with & to always be willing to try new things, which I did with full confidence. With that in mind, I realized recently just how powerful the media & societal expectations are to have reached a young girl with every option to be completely herself, no strings attached.
And this isn't just an unfortunate circumstance in the US. Recently, my best friend who is teaching in South Korea told me about a young, beautiful girl who called herself fat in the classroom which completely broke my friend's heart. With each new season of my life, I've always felt compelled to find inspiration in other people in order to feel more at ease with the stage that I'm in. This could range from finding a worship singer to follow on Instagram so that I feel more comfortable with the idea of leading in church. Or it could be a fitness expert with a ton of her own workouts listed when i'm planning to start a strict diet. It could also be finding the page of another blogger in order to find inspiration for future blog posts or designs, etc. This is where it gets tricky. Women have it very rough today & the world does not attempt to make life easier on us. We may follow someone for simple inspiration but sooner or later, a comparison will come. As a person who has anxiety, these comparisons can easily lead to a downward spiral of depression which has caused me to miss important events because I couldn't get the courage to leave my house. This is really not that uncommon when we allow ourselves to be exposed to only the 'good parts' of someone's life. A few examples of my own include: "Wow, she's really tan. I should self tan more often." "She really travels a lot..maybe we should put our extra money into a travel fund instead of debt payoff." "How does she have so many followers?! I wish my pictures looked more like hers." Reading & even writing this makes me feel crazy, but there is a good chance each reader has done this too. Comparison truly is the thief of joy & although I am all for finding a good inspiration source to aid your passions, there is a level of inspiration we need to learn to stick to so that comparison doesn't follow suit. I think social media has played a huge part in feeling like a lesser than human being. We are a click away from exactly what someone wants us to see of them. We see their highlights & think of our rough patches. Something i've started doing recently is reaching out to each person I feel inspired by so that we can connect on a more personal level. Instead of perusing through profiles, find contact info of your inspiration source & send an email to them telling them what inspires you & any questions you may have about their knowledge in the particular area you're interested. I promise this isn't as weird as it sounds! In fact, each time i've done this they've been so honored & have loved discussing our mutual passions. The next time you feel a comparison coming on, just remember the Lord made you exactly how you should be, intentionally & carefully so that you may fulfill your own unique role here in earth in order to build His kingdom. It's unfortunate that comparisons are so easy to come by. Just take a step back & remember how special you are. There's a good chance someone has been inspired by you before as well.

2 comments:

  1. This is such a beautiful post. You were so fortunate to be raised in such a healthy environment. I hope to provide the same for my children. <3 Have a great weekend!
    The Grass Skirt

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    1. Thank you so much!! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have no doubts your babies will be raised in the same environment. You're such a sweet mama! Hope you've had a great Halloween. :)

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