I don’t know anyone who at one time or another hasn’t fallen into the “comparison trap”. I try to warn my kiddos about its negative impact, but often find myself being pulled into its grips right in front of them. This day and age of constant social media doesn’t help as we post the BEST part of our lives to the world. Look where I am, what I wore, what I ate, how much I worked out and how big the bouquet of flowers I just received is – no big deal….
The trouble with comparison is that it is NEVER and I repeat NEVER fair or equal or on any kind of even playing field. We are all so different with our personal history, daily schedules, personality traits, character strengths and limitations, all making an enormous impact on why and where we are currently on this crazy ride called life. Regardless, when I get up and get dressed in the morning, and enjoy my (first) cup of coffee, I am generally content. Then… I scroll through my newsfeed.
Not that I am implying that Facebook is the cause of my discontent, but it doesn’t help if I am leaning in that direction … it gives me a gentle push and encourages me to start addressing invitations to a pity party that no one – including myself -should attend! If I’m feeling just a bit down about my weight, house, parenting skills, organizational abilities or relationships – you name it – I can easily become discouraged if I choose to compare myself to others. And – it IS a choice. “Don’t compare your behind the scenes with someone else’s highlight reel”. We choose what we are posting on Facebook – and typically, it’s a post that makes us feel proud, accomplished and/or happy. To counter this, I also post recipe failures, scheduling mishaps and adventures that end not as I had planned – in hopes of making my friends laugh and feel connected to me in this not so perfect world. Remembering that no one is perfect, especially after seeing their social media pictures and posts, will help us to be content in our own circumstances.
Someone once said “The grass is greener where we water it”. This statement gently reminds us to focus on our own world and be deliberate about creating the change that we wish to see. Instead of hoping to see smaller numbers on the scale, let’s be active and take a walk 5 days a week. If we are disappointed that our family relationships are lacking, let’s pick up the phone or host some fun gatherings to foster them and help those relationships grow and develop. We are in control of much more than we will admit. It’s easier to shrug and say “Oh well….”. Let’s DO SOMETHING. If comparisons make us crazy – let’s change our ways.
Being content is a choice. Not every moment qualifies to live forever in our scrapbook pages. There are a lot of things that happen in our lives that we need to just get through and push past. But, when we do have the opportunity to improve a situation – attitude is everything. Our home may not be a mansion, but it is filled with laughter and loudness and people that love each other madly. Look for the good and celebrate it – in every situation. Watching others succeed does not mean that you are a failure. Take the chance to build each other up. Share in the joy when others experience special milestones. You’ll see, that when you are positive towards life in general, the need to compare will begin to fade away. We are all equally amazing and ENOUGH.