Comparison is the Thief of Joy
What is wrong with me?
This question for me – this is where it all starts friends. Because you know why you ask yourself, “What is wrong with me?” most of the time? It’s because you see someone else “succeeding” at something that you believe you “failed” at.
The reason I put quotations around succeeding and failed is because I am just wondering what those words really even mean.
Why is that so hard to say out loud? Is it offensive to anyone – no.
What does it feel like to say those words – shameful.
I find freedom and wholeness in being honest, just because of how dishonesty used to play such a large role in my life. I am almost eager to be vulnerable and share what is on my heart or going on in my life because I want others to feel the freedom I felt when I started telling the truth about myself, my thoughts, my life.
So it doesn’t make much sense to me when I feel shame from admitting that I’m struggling with something – and I’m wondering if its because I know something else is going on within me that won’t let me feel the freedom, the joy, of honesty – that something is comparison.
Here is my honesty that I want to share today –
I feel like I am horrible at being pregnant.
I feel embarrassed that I can’t eat and enjoy the food that friends make for me.
I have anxiety that if someone comes over I will have to throw up and they will be disgusted in me.
I feel ashamed that I have to ask my boss for help at work because its just too much for me right now.
I feel judged by others because I’m not working as hard as I should be.
I feel unaccomplished because some women run races while they are pregnant and I can’t even take more than a 5 minutes shower without feeling out of breath and about to pass out.
I feel like a bad friend because I can’t stay awake enough to engage in an important conversation with a dear friend.
And am I even going to be able to have the non-medicated birth I want because how can I deliver a baby if I can’t even stand up to worship at church without getting weak in the knees.
Can anyone relate to these thoughts? I’m talking about my pregnancy in this particular moment but I have these same types of thoughts in relation to soooo many other things in my life. Do you too?
And I’m sure you know by now why I’m having all of these thoughts – and why you’re having those similar thoughts about your current situation right now.
I am looking at women on social media, hearing personal stories, even just seeing a pregnant woman on the street, knowing nothing about them, and just assuming they are superwoman and I’m just some kind of helpless blob.
And I’m so tired. I’m tired because its absolutely exhausting to keep comparing yourself to someone else. It’s mental exhaustion and it is the thief of joy.
There are so many beautiful things going on in life – but how can you see them if you are only seeing ugly – an untrue, made-up version of yourself.
Comparison also takes away our sensitivity, our compassion, our empathy. It takes away our eyes. If we are seeing others in a “successful” light and in turn name ourselves as “failures” we are shielding ourselves from someone who maybe is actually struggling with the same things that we are – or going through worse.
What we can do with these thoughts is acknowledge that we are having them, but not let them define who we are. We can be honest about them, and see the grace that others are pouring over us because we opened up to having help. We can share these thoughts and maybe encourage someone to share theirs too. We can open our hearts to others and grow deeper in friendship through that honesty and build one another back up.
There is no shame in needing help.
There is no shame in being honest.
There is no shame in struggling with comparison.
We all do.
Let’s build ourselves and each other up.
Lets feel the joy.