Hello, sweet friends-
There is something on my heart that I want you to be set free from– the vicious trap of comparison; and it is just that: vicious, venomous and ruthless. Comparison is something I have struggled with, probably, for most of my life; and I certainly didn’t grow out of it when I became a mom.
I think women have a strong tendency to compare themselves to every other woman around them. We compare ourselves to every woman we see on TV: the women on commercials, the women on reality shows, perhaps even the beautiful, smart and funny women we see in sitcoms. We compare ourselves to our friends, to our acquaintances, even to complete strangers. And perhaps the most damaging thing we compare ourselves to is the women we follow on social media.
We scroll through perfectly composed pictures of her amazing home decor (really, her entire house should be in a magazine), families on joyous tropical vacations and moms just looking all around gorgeous and happy… all the time! It can be maddening and you start to wonder why you don’t have it all together— why you can’t seem to have just one clean room in the house for an entire day or why you can’t manage to get a shower every day or even get your teeth brushed more than once a day (just me?). You start to sink into a hole of putting yourself down and that hole just gets deeper and deeper. You start to believe that you really are quite a pathetic human being.
–Oh how I pray that this post will be a turning point for you–
It was a long time ago that I found a quote from Theodore Roosevelt on Pinterest that states, “Comparison is the thief of joy”… I pinned that puppy straight away because it is such a nugget of truth. Comparing ourselves to anyone else strips us of all joy in our life. The rich and ready joy that is ours for the taking! God created you just how he wanted you to be… you are his masterpiece for goodness sake, not a rough draft (Ephesians 2:10).
It’s time we stop comparing everyone else’s highlight real (Instagram, Facebook, etc.) to our behind-the-scenes footage— because it’s just downright unfair. No one is boasting about their behind-the-scenes footage… the humiliating public tantrums, the broken marriage behind the smiles or the “just trying to survive this day”. No matter how perfect someone may seem, they have blemishes in their life just like you.
Also know that God gave you the exact right children for you and he gave your children the exact right mother for them. You are meant to be their mother, because no one can be a mother to them like you can. He equipped you with exactly what you need to nurture your children. So be encouraged… God thinks you can do this and so do I! Doing it right doesn’t mean doing it all— all the things that it looks like everyone else is doing. Doing it right is doing what your family needs at this point in time.
I’d be lying if I said I no longer succumb to comparison, sometimes I do, and every time I find that I am stripped of joy. But I have come a long way from where I used to be. If I know I’m not in a very positive mood I don’t go on Instagram because I know I’ll find a way to get myself down. Simple, proactive steps like that make a really big difference. It also helps me to put quotes I like around the house. So if you’ve got a chalkboard sign (or a blank post-it note!) somewhere just begging for there to be something inspiring on it, write “Comparison is the thief of joy” on it for a week. See if it helps you keep your mind on positive thoughts.