Comparison is Nothing More Than a Trap.
Do you ever find yourself scrolling through social media and checking out your “friends” and their seemingly amazing life? They post pics from their recent vacation to some tropical island. They have a picture of their family at the holidays. All gathered around the table and smiling. You see the report card their super-smart daughter just brought home. There is a video of their son hitting his 3rd home run in last night’s baseball game. You hear about Joey’s new job promotion. Sondra posts a selfie of her and husband. They always look so happy.
Man, by looking at their social media, you automatically think their life is amazing. So many wonderful things are happening to them. Then you look at your life. Hmmph. You try to post a few pics of you and the kids smiling or you and the husband out for date night. Toss in a few photos from last year’s vacation (to visit family) in central Ohio.
Apples to apples, you start to compare your life with your Facebook or Instagram friends. They could be actual people you know, perhaps high school pals or current coworkers or associates. Regardless, you start to compare their seemingly amazing life with yours. Little by little, with each picture you click on, you become a bit more depressed at how sad your little life is.
You think how low level your job is, how often you and your spouse argue, how frequently your kids don’t behave or how one of them got a “D” on their last report card. How you have few friends to hang out with or how you never get to travel to exotic places.
This is a trap. Once you start to compare yourself to others, you have a tendency to see only the positive things in the others persons life and only the negative in yours. Don’t fall for it. If I have learned nothing else these past few years is that things are often not what they seem. That “friend” who seems to have it all…what you don’t know are the struggles they try to hide from the rest of the world. While it shouldn’t make you feel good to know other people are struggling, it should give you comfort to know that EVERYONE does. Everyone has problems. Some are visible to the rest of the world and others are not.
Celebration and Appreciation are the Solution
You don’t have to feel bad about the things or accomplishments of others. You don’t have to feel bad about the life you have. These feelings are either jealousy or self-pity. Maybe both.
You have been given this one life. Take stock of what you do have. Do you have health, family, friends, a job, a roof over your head? Be grateful. Be appreciative of all that you do have. Write it down. Write a list of all the things you should be grateful for. Really look at it. I am sure if you tried, you could find other folks who would do anything to live the life you have.
Be appreciative of your life. This one life that God has given you. We are not meant to live other people’s lives. Take a real look at yours and consider how grateful you should be. Think of how much you have come through and how you have grown.
You need to realize, you can be content in your own life and be happy, even celebratory over the lives of others. You can learn to truly be happy for the successes and enjoyment of your family and friends. If you care for someone, their well-being should be pleasing to you not cause you jealousy.
God has given each of us a path in life. Don’t compare your life to others. That isn’t your life to live. Go out and live YOUR best life!