Know what never leads to anything good?
The comparison game.
I am so guilty of this that it’s not even funny. In fact, my husband and I both do it–and it’s a nasty little habit that I desperately need to kick.
I’ll scroll through Facebook photos and see other people hanging out together and instantly think…
Omg, I have no friends, no one likes me, look how much fun other people are having! Everyone must hate me! I’m so boring!
Or, I’ll hear about so-and-so going on a vacation and become green with envy.
Wish I could afford a vacation! How do they do it? How come everyone else has so much money and I don’t?
If we go to someone’s house, we compare and contrast.
Wow, they had an amazing kitchen, didn’t they? Our kitchen sucks! You can’t even walk into it if the fridge is open it’s so tiny! We need to build a new house ASAP! (Furious home-pinning plans ensue.)
It’s an exhausting way to live.
And a pointless practice, because deep down, I know that everyone is different and obviously, we never know the whole story on someone else’s life. I know I have people that love me, hopefully a few friends, that someday we will go on a nice vacation, and that our kitchen, while small, is just fine right now.
So why do I do it?
Why do I constantly compare myself to other people? That woman’s Beyonce-like flowing hair? That one’s amazing post-baby body? Her salary?
I am guessing that part of it is simply human nature, right? That whole the-grass-is-greener on the other side thing?
And I know part of it is insecurity–if I was more secure in who I am as a person, friend, employee, etc., I wouldn’t feel the constant need to compare myself with other people.
There’s still a small part of me that feels like I’m playing “catch-up” too. Because we started having kids young, we jumped full-on into marriage, jobs, and building a life. I constantly have to remind myself that in many instances, a lot of people I am “comparing” myself to have had a chance to are a little older, with a little more time and money behind them. And fewer children. Ha. (I’m kidding. Kind of.)
The homily at church yesterday was all about the dangerous comparison game, so I know I’m not alone in playing it. We are all called differently to live different lives and one person’s success in life does not diminish ours. Nor is there one definition of “success” in life. It’s not all about the money, or the nice vacation, or the spacious kitchen, as much as I drool over those things. It was nice to have a reminder to recharge my efforts to make God the focus of my life–and the rest will fall into place.
Which is, of course, easier said than done.
But I think it clearly starts with me admitting that my hair is never going to look like Beyonce’s.
It’s just time to let that dream die.