The Comparison Struggle

June 20, 2017

Many of us like to think that we don't get sucked into the comparison trap. We try to focus on our own lives and happiness but, to be completely honest, that's a pretty tall order. I used to be much worse about comparison - looking at everyone's life around me and wishing that I looked like her, or I had her relationship or her job. It drove me absolutely crazy and caused me to constantly beat down on myself or feel that I was a victim because life was simply unfair.

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Luckily, with a lot of work and grace, I've come a long way from that mindset. I learned that no matter how good someone else's life looks on the outside, you don't know what's really going on behind closed doors. I learned that we all have our own struggles for a reason, that my life is a gift and that I need to appreciate all the beautiful things that I do have, rather than focus on what I think I want.

Nevertheless, comparison is something that is very hard to get away from no matter who you are or how much you enjoy that life that you have. We're all human and we aren't blind to everyone else. You may not even be comparing yourself to someone in particular, but simply judging yourself and your life on what society considers "success" and whether or not you're meeting that standard.

There's that word: success. What does it even mean anyway?

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Even according to Merriam-Webster the definition of success is a little hazy. Why? Because success is not a universal thing to be achieved but something that is individual to each person and situation.

I was having my "quiet time" the other day and came across a passage in James that struck me and got me started on this topic in the first place:

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

James 3:16

To me, this verse means that when you're focused on envying what others have and trying to be better than other people, you'll endure a life filled with disorder and pain rather than one of love and joy. Focusing on impressing other people, having the fanciest things or prettiest house, or thinking that dropping two dress sizes will make you happier or more loved is only going to end up with you feeling disappointed.

Yes, it's hard not to want those things. Sometimes it's hard to look around and be not only satisfied with but grateful for what you have right now. However, at the end of the day, we have to remember what is really important. What are you going to look back on from your life and remember? When you slipped on that pair of jeans or looked good in that photo? Or are you going to remember the laughter with friends or the peace that came from doing what felt right and good to you?

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Whenever you find yourself in one of those moments, whether it's when you see your friend's new house, that person's amazing vacation photos on Instagram, or your coworker kicking butt at her job, take a deep breath and remember this:

You are exactly where you're meant to be. You have so many things to be grateful for and you are loved just as you are right now.

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