When talking to other friends, there is always someone they aren’t looking forward to seeing. This is the mom who is always looking amazing, and her kids are dressed perfectly. She always brings the best food and seems perfect. This isn’t just my friends. I know I’ve faced it before. If we face it, there must be others who are feeling it too. This inspired me to write Instead of Comparison Choose Joy.
Eleanor Roosevelt – Comparison is the thief of joy.
What is different about Holiday Comparison?
Most families are spread across the country. This means you see them for funerals and holidays once a year. By seeing each other once a year, you can see all of the improvements in their children, but can’t seem them on your own.
Maybe your sister has lost some weight. You nephew is reading and he is only 5. Your niece has already gone through the awkward phase and has turned into a real beauty.
All of these things could have happened in the past year, and they will be very evident to you. It will be these things you will use to not only tear down yourself but will put a wall between yourself and your family. This rift is not only damaging, but it can and will room your holidays.
Why do we do this?
Honestly, it is a way Satan uses to destroy us, and it is a trap that most women seem to fall into. Don’t exclude me. I fight this just as much as anyone else.
I see how pulled together one of my sisters-in-law is, and feel like a failure because I don’t see myself that way. My other sister-in-law loves to run and always looks sharp, and me, well I’m overweight and a frumpy stay at home mom.
I don’t know their fears. I have no idea what their struggles were this past year.
God reminds me- I didn’t ask you to be her, I asked you to be you.
What does this really do to me?
It doesn’t just steal your joy, but your soul.
Here is the raw real truth about the comparison. It becomes one of three sins: pride, envy or judgment. I’m going to break it down to a few points for you.
1. It is always unfair.
You are comparing either the worst of yourself with what we presume is the best about others, OR you are comparing the momentary worst of others with your own strength.
2. It requires a metric.
This is EXACTLY what Matthew 7:1-2 is talking about. “Judge not that you not be judged. For with the judgment you pronounce, you will be judged. And with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” It is always talked about when we talk about righteous judgment, but I contend that it is also talking about our own personal standard of what is good.
3. It robs you of your uniqueness and time.
Everything about you is UNIQUE. How can you waste time comparing yourself to others who can NEVER compare to YOU! What is the closing line of Veggie Tales? God made you special and he loves you very much!
Mother Teresa- If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
HELP!! How do I stop it?
Here are 5 things to help you overcome Comparison.
1. Take note of the thought
Capture the thoughts as they creep into your head, because Satan is sneaky.
I KNOW this isn’t how we want to be. We have to take control of our thoughts. I KNOW this is hard, but it can be done. I face this myself many times, especially at night when I’m tired. It is HARD, but it can be done.
2. Become aware of your own success
Find your talents and actually use them.
It has taken me a LONG time to accept that I have talents. Even a few years ago if you asked me what my talents and gifts are I would tell you I have none. I have finally been able to accept that I have gifts to give to the world.
3. Appreciation and Gratitude
Routinely appreciate and compliment the contributions of others.
Take a few moments at the end of every day and write down just THREE things you are thankful for. Just this one little practice will change your life forever.
You see habitual negative social comparisons can cause a person to experience greater stress, anxiety, depression and make self-defeating choices.
Instead of Comparison Choose Joy
This holiday, promise yourself that you won’t compare yourself to others. Promise that you will be mindful and live in the glorious moment that may never come again, as you are on the path to the good life.
Like I said in my previous post, Do You Own Thing, do what is best for you and your family. Be strong. Be courageous.
Focus on preventing meltdowns for your children.
Choose JOY and to have the best day EVER! Choose Happiness! REFUSE to accept anything less.
Most of all, love yourself, and those around you.