Trapped by Comparison

Sometimes I feel like a huge chunk of my life was wasted.

Let me explain. Throughout the past 2-3 years I discovered bliss. My bliss. Internal joy, peace, self contentment, and freedom. And it feels so good. If only I could have discovered it earlier.

Have you ever heard of the saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy?”

Well I feel like I spent wayyy too much time comparing myself to other people - comparing the things that they had to the things I had, comparing where they were in their life to where I was in mine, comparing their assets and possessions to mine…just comparing, comparing, comparing.

And the thing is, I didn't realize I was doing it. I was comparing so often, I did it without thinking. And oh! Social media just amplified it. I spent countless hours scrolling through Facebook and Instagram looking at all the beautiful things my peers had and looking at all the beautiful places they had been and was slowly becoming dissatisfied with my own life. It just seemed like everybody else had it all together. I mean, I was looking right at it!

What I didn't realize was that people display their highlight reel. They only show and post the things that they want others to see; The things that make them look good. I fell right into that trap believing that I was the only one that wasn't living this beautiful life that everyone else seemed to be living. I unknowingly began to seek after these “beautiful” things that I was seeing. Trying to be fulfilled and happy like everyone else in the pictures appeared to be.

How silly of me to use another person’s life as a measuring stick for mine? It really doesn't make much sense when I really think about it. God made us each individual. He gave us each different identities, different personalities, different appearances and even different fingerprints. We are all different from one another. Why then would I look at someone else and try to pattern myself after something that wasn't designed for me?

It had become exhausting.

Constantly looking over my shoulder at what everyone else was doing instead of focusing my attention on the beauty of my own life and the beauty of the journey God had created just for me. All that time I spent comparing, cheated me out of the peace and tranquility God provides when we look to Him to affirm our adequacy. I finally came to the realization that God doesn't compare us to anyone else. Think about it. Do you think God sits back and compare a masterpiece He created to another masterpiece He created? No! 

So why do we do it? If God is fine with us, we should learn to be fine with ourselves. I had to learn to practice looking to God to make sure I was walking in the will He created for me. This doesn't mean that I can't continually seek to be my best. But I had to focus on doing just that, being my best. Not trying to be better than him or trying to measure up to her, but being my best.

Being able to wake up with peace of mind and heart and knowing that I am right where I am supposed to be in God’s will keeps me from looking over to my left and to my right trying to measure how well I am doing in comparison to my peers. This is where I found my contentment - in God. Not in being better or having more than the next person. The peace and freedom I feel is bliss. I am no longer trapped or held hostage by comparison.