Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

If you’re feeling like you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, the things you wish you could change about yourself may not be the problem! While there are things we all strive to improve in ourselves, we often forget that comparison is the thief of joy.

Have you ever said anything along the lines of: “I just don’t understand why I had to be the one to get the genes of pale sensitive skin, thick thunder thighs and fine thin hair! I wish I had a beautiful glowing tan, with slim long legs and thick luxurious hair.”

I still catch myself looking in the mirror, pinching and grabbing at the parts of myself that I wish were not there – seriously wishing I was “that girl”. You know, the girl that has a perfect family, natural beauty and endless amounts of talent pouring from her in every endearing way. The one that laughs at insults about her because she knows they aren’t true. However, I will never be “that girl” because she doesn’t exist and she’s not who I was born to be.

The first time I realized I cared about what people thought about me was in middle school.

First of all, can I just say that middle school is by far the hardest period of life! Middle school is an awkward time where you aren’t necessarily seen as a child who needs everything handed to them but you also don’t have the freedom that high school students have. Add some hormones and body parts that weren’t there before, and you’re set up for a good old fashion hot mess.

As a teenager I had a very unhealthy relationship with food. I would eat something and immediately feel guilt. The first memory I have of being called fat is seared into my brain. I was in the sixth grade at my friends’ swim birthday party. Keep in mind- I was no where near fat, I was a size 2. Although it was a joke and by many means was not true, I held onto that and for far too long.

Have you ever thought that you were over a hurt in your life and realized many years later that it was still a very tender subject? Something that you thought you were now very confident about and sure of yourself in. I realized last year that I had still been carrying that comment and others like it around for ten years. Ten years of repeating that comment in my head while trying on swim suits at Target. Letting it circle my brain when I looked in the mirror.

A lie I was told, a lie I believed.

Last year I found myself in one of my dearest friend’s room crying hysterically over a comment mentioned about the amount of food I ate. One little meaningless comment said out of fun and jokes- and without the background story of my past. Out of no where I lost it. I had no idea that a joke ten years later would hit just the same as it had when I was at that birthday party. The insecurity I thought I left in my past was still there. Until that moment. In that moment I realized I had some things in my heart that I had yet to let Jesus deal with fully. As I cried in her office and told her where all of this emotion came from, she told me something I have started to say in reply to pinches and comments in the mirror.

“You need to know who you are and who’s you are.” 

Whoa! That’s a lot of punch in one small sentence. It was what I needed. What I have needed many times since that moment. Something that I have had to tell my tear filled eyes when I look in the mirror in disappointment of where I am not instead of acknowledging the magnitude of who and who’s I am. I remind myself that I am the confident, intelligent, passionate, full-hearted, loving, daughter of the most high God.

Fast Forward to This Past Week and I am Still Learning This Lesson!

I recently had my pastors over to my house that we have owned for only a year now. My pastor might as well be Chip Gaines! He is quite amazing at seeing the potential in something that no one else can see! (More on that for another post!) As we stood in the kitchen, I was shared all of my ideas for fixing our home. I wanted new floors, new counters, painted cabinets, the list went on and on. In reality, I wanted the beautiful creation he has turned their precious farmhouse into! Although my sweet pastors reassured me that our starter home was really coming together, I wanted it to be better! I wanted the dream farmhouse and as soon as possible. My pastor’s wife looked at me and reminded me of something I will never forget.

“Remember, comparison is the thief of joy.” 

Double whoa! Another punch that God had been trying to tell me throughout different seasons of my life. Don’t you love how he will always finds other ways to teach you what he wants you to learn if you don’t seem to learn the first, second or hundredth time?

Comparison is the thief of joy. Really take a minute to let that sit in. Think of all of things you could be missing out on in life because you are comparing yourself to others. Think of the vacation you’re going on next. Are you going to let your insecurities of the way you look get in the way of having a blast? Will you spend countless hours looking at your one friend with a rocking bikini body wishing you looked more like her? Or are you going to jump in the pool cannon ball style and get the party started? Are you going to not be as proud of yourself for finishing college just because it wasn’t when all of your friends finished? Or are you going to recognize the amount of time and energy you put in to get that degree?

 Comparison is the thief of joy

I absolutely love this post by Rachel Hollis.

She allows for women to be confident in their body. The body they are in and shouldn’t be ashamed of. One that doesn’t compare themselves to others, but one that enjoys the memories being made in that moment. I am forever inspired by her boldness to embrace who she is !

By no means am I perfect at this. I am an open book, even with the parts of my life that need a little more work. Although not comparing myself to others is hard, it’s something I am constantly working towards. However, remembering who and who’s I am is the first step!

There’s many things we wish we could change about ourselves, but comparison steals the joy of where you are now. It’s like I tell my husband all the time, “yes we will enjoy when we make more money and no longer have to take college classes, but we can also choose to enjoy this time now and make beautiful memories that will last our lifetime now!”

I’ll leave you with the challenge to enjoy the season you’re in, in the body you’re in, without comparison.

All my love,

Mads

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