We are all guilty of the comparison that leaves us always feeling unsatisfied and wanting more. The message that we should look, feel, act and be different than we are today is in every marketing campaign by every major retailer. It is this consistent message that tomorrow we will be better if we just do that one other thing. It creates a form of competition and commerce that is healthy and motivating. However, when we live in a constant state of comparison it can be crippling to our joy and individuality.
Seasons of Growth
I remember years ago learning about how we all go through ‘seasons’ in our lives. For some reason this analogy has stuck with me for many years, even as my life continues to change and evolve. So what do the seasons of our lives have to do with the comparison of ourselves to others ? Understanding how our lives change and evolve is the fundamental foundation in learning to love ourselves. We all have different starting points, we all have unique strengths and areas for growth. How we view and see the world today, our framework, is constantly evolving for us and everyone else.
Comparison is Keeping Us From Experiencing Today’s Joy.
In my current season, the “Mommy Wars” are an all too real battle. If I compare myself to another woman’s established ‘standards of motherhood’, such as much of the nonsense gossiped about on social media, I will never find contentment with who I am. In today’s world of ‘information overload’ we have to remember it’s OK to be informed but we don’t have to be inundated. We don’t have to compare our right now to someone else’s today, tomorrow or yesterday. Comparison is holding us back from experiencing the joy of who we are and the value we offer. Comparison even robs us of the dreams of tomorrow by implanting the fear of the unknown.
Learning From One Another
It is important to use our innate choice of comparison to learn from one another instead. Learning from others strengths and challenging the way we view the world will allow us to grow in our current season. It may motivate us to do more, be better and yet still allows us to enjoy the moment we are in today. Most importantly, it gives us something to strive towards and in the process inspire others to do the same.
So the next time you catch yourself comparing your season to someone else’s current circumstances, ask yourself these questions. “How will this help me better today? Tomorrow? And what can I be grateful for today?” Here is a great book that may help you along in your journey as it has helped me.
How about you? How have you overcome comparison in your own life? Share in the comments below!