Comparison is the Thief of Joy and Pain

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We live in a society of putting our best face forward in many ways that the generations before us were not faced with. Comparison is everywhere. My mom certainly didn’t see all of her friends and neighbors in their homes showing us the highlight reel of their weekends. People don’t often times put their child’s tantrums in their stories. My mom’s generation didn’t know of the term “influencer.” The only influencer she knew was an actor in a commercial during her shows. 

Now at any given time we can open our phones and scroll Instagram mindlessly at all the moms who have it together in their beautiful white houses. Honestly I don’t know how they do it with kids. My couch is blue because it hides the stains from having kids. 

It’s hard not to compare yourself and your life to others. Whether it be our friends or our influencers, there seems to always be some sort of competition. I often feel the push to be a Pinterest mom, when it just isn’t something that makes me happy. I compare myself to the moms who find joy in these things and it only makes me feel sad and empty. 

There is also the other side of the evils of comparison. That is the part where we compare our pain to others. Somehow because someone “has it worse” than us, then it means that we are not entitled to feel pain. 

I am here to tell you that it does not work that way. There is no hierarchy to pain. In fact negating your feelings by saying someone else may have it worse not only does a disservice to you by not allowing you to feel and process through your feelings, but it is also in many ways degrading to those who you feel are the ones who have it worse than you. 

Another way that comparison is harmful is when you are in public with your children and someone says to you “You’ve got your hands full!” I don’t know about you but this feels a little like a jab to me. As if to say that I am in over my head or cannot handle what I have. The same goes for when someone says “I don’t know how you do it.” Or even “I could never….” It’s all the same way of comparing one another in a way that is not healthy or kind. 

We all walk through life with our own burdens, our own hurts and our own joys. Try to focus on your own journey and not the journey of others. There is so much about their story that we cannot see and are not privy to. Be kind to yourself and give yourself grace. Feel your feelings and do what brings you joy. Don’t let the picture that you see of others cloud your view of yourself.

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