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Don’t compare yourself with someone else’s version of happy or thin. Accepting yourself burns the most calories.–Caroline Rhea
The thoughts come so quickly and so naturally, we often don’t even realize we are doing it. We see the supermom next to us, the one who is president of the PTO, toned and tan with gorgeous hair and glowing skin, and think why can’t I be more like her?
She drives a brand new Escalade, her perfect children somehow manage to be both athletic and smart, and while you’ve never actually been to her house, you can only imagine that House Beautiful will be dropping by any day now to take photographs for their next feature. She’s so lucky.
By some miracle of organization, she always, always seems to know what’s going on, and you’re quite sure she has never forgotten to sign a homework sheet, or had to swing by Publix at the last minute because she forgot to bake homemade treats for the class. Why can’t I ever seem to pull myself together?
The whispers of comparison, once started, are insidious. They will eat away at our happiness, our peace, and our sense of well-being until there is nothing left but an empty feeling of inadequacy.
But my friends, here is the truth: Not one of us leads a perfect life, hard as some of us may try to present that image to the world. Every single one of us has our own set of challenges, our own trials, our own pain.
A wise friend once reminded me, as I was busy comparing myself to another mom who seemed so much more put together, that we all get the same 24 hours to work with each day. No one can do it all, and what gets presented to the world is often far from the whole picture.
And that Supermom you’ve been comparing yourself to? Perhaps she works so hard to maintain her appearance because she is desperately insecure. Perhaps trying to present a perfect image to the world has put her family deeply in debt, and she has trouble sleeping at night as she worries they will lose their house soon. Perhaps she struggles with depression or chronic pain or a marriage on the brink of collapse.
Or perhaps it is none of those things. But we never really know. The problem with comparisons is that more often than not, what we are comparing ourselves to isn’t the full picture. The only real solution is to stop.
Be sure to read Edie’s corresponding post on More Self-Confidence HERE
Think of that one person that you most compare yourself to. Write down her name. Write down all of her wonderful traits, all the things you think of when you think of her. And now try to imagine her trials and heartache, the things she’s struggles the most with. Think about what her life might really be like behind closed doors. Pray for her. Maybe even send her a note telling her how much she has inspired you over the years. In other words, be thankful for her and for people like her, who raise the bar for all of us. Perhaps we compare ourselves to her because she has learned to be comfortable in her skin and live in gratitude and service for the people in her life. And over the next month, every time you catch yourself comparing, stop and instead tell yourself “I am enough.”
I’m so thrilled to have my sweet friend Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom joining our Less & More challenge this month! Be sure to check out her insightful thoughts on less bitterness & more forgiveness here!
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Do you ever struggle with comparing yourself to others?