There are a LOT of things I love about blogging.
I love catching up with friends and family, meeting new friends from around the world, and hearing varying opinions about everything from vaccines to egalitarianism to make-up choices. It’s so fun to discover the latest trends in home design, hear why moms are choosing this stroller over that one, and learn what to say (or not to say) to adoptive parents.
But there is one thing I really don’t like about blogging.
Because blogs provide a window into real people’s lives, readers might THINK they know a blogger better than they do. And as a result, we can start comparing our imperfect selves to other’s “perfect” homes/outfits/meals/writing/photography/child rearing skills/etc.
We see a beautiful photo of someone’s perfectly decorated living room and think, “It always looks like that, and mine never will, and how do they have enough money to do that?” or “Her five year old is already reading chapter books and my little guy can’t even recognize his name.” or “That couple always makes the most amazing homemade meals and I can’t even muster the energy for boxed mac and cheese.”
As Teddy Roosevelt says, and my friend Anna Q likes to quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
If you’ve ever fallen victim to comparing your life to another person, I hope this list from Nicole Unice will encourage you. It’s from her book She’s Got Issues: Seriously Good News for Stressed-Out Secretly Scared Control Freaks Like Us.
Tempted to compare?
- When you think, I wish I were more like him/her, replace this thought with, I’m only seeing a small sliver of this person’s life.
- When you feel resentment towards another, pray, “Lord, give me eyes to see where I need to change my ways.”
- When you wish for something you don’t have, fix you eyes on what you do have. Keep your eyes on your own bag.
- Go with Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice.” Make the conscious choice to humble yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a heart that is joyful in other’s joy.
- Foster creativity. Make a consious effort to pursue activities you love. Paint pictures. Swing on the monkey bars. Take hip-hop. Ignore everyone else and create!
- Take action: Write down two or three things that you feel grateful for in each area of potential comaprison.
- Remember the landowner’s question, “Are you envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:15) Don’t disrespect God’s generosity to you by ignoring his gifts because they don’t seem to compare with those he has given to others.
Do you fall victim to the comparison game when you read blogs? How about in real life? What do you do when you catch yourself comparing?