I haven’t blogged in forever. I know, I say that a lot. And I do vow to get better. In fact, I finally hired a new assistant to help me take over administrative tasks so that I can spend more time on the blog and other fun projects that are always neglected. But, more on that later:)
I have had something on my heart for a while and just wanted to put it out there. This applies to us in so many ways- whether you are a business women, a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a photographer, a blogger or a newlywed. This applies to you wherever you are, so listen up:)
Stop looking around at what everyone else is doing and just keep doing your thing. Comparison is the worst enemy and he has crept into every facet of everything we do. I know I am absolutely guilty of this so I am speaking to myself as much as I am to you, mama.
I was having my (almost) daily quiet time yesterday and there was a quote on comparison that really stood out to me and I just knew I had to share it.
“We live in an increasingly competitive culture, so comparisons come easily and seemed to be encouraged. Our sin tempts us to take our eyes off of Jesus and look at those around us. We compare our mothering, our kids, our homes, the books we read, our spiritual journey, and a host of checklists we create. Peel back the mask, and what you will often find is that the true face of comparison is either a heart of fear or a heart of pride. Maybe even both. ” From Pressing Pause by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schlenk.
Y’all. That is good stuff. And it stings a bit doesn’t it? I know it stopped me in my tracks. And I can totally see how my comparisons are a heart of fear AND a heart of pride. I am definitely in that “both” category. That being said, I know when I am doing it. And I have gotten so much better about stopping myself. Sure, it takes discipline to hop off facebook/pinterest/instagram/insert-your-guilty-pleasure-here but it is worth it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
So, here is the deal. Why are we comparing ourselves to one another so much? I mean, besides the amazing perspective from Pressing Pause… We do it because it is everywhere and it is SO HARD to look away. It is hard to peel our eyes off that stunning momma who always looks put together and in control. It is hard to stop staring at image after image in a super talented artists social media feed. It is darn near impossible not to compare Jane Smith’s amazing month-long vacation with her husband with your own one-night staycation.
Social media and the internet are AMAZING. I love them. I really do. After all, it is largely in thanks to them that I have a thriving business and get to keep up with so many friends and family members around the world. Google is the greatest and I spend some time on Amazon almost daily. Our lives really do rely on this stuff these days. But it doesn’t mean we can’t try to minimize all the comparing that is going on.
We waste so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others. Let’s put all the wasted time and energy we use feeling down on ourselves to good use. Imagine if you could save just half of it to use on reading a book, going for a run, meeting a friend for lunch or playing a game with your kids. Those are all much more positive uses of our time. And honestly, they all feed your soul. In a positive way. Instead of the negative time suck that comparison has on us.
Am I suggesting that you shut down your Facebook account and pull back from all things social media? Um, no. I certainly won’t be. What I am suggesting is dial it down a notch. Unfollow friends or business that leave you with negative feelings all the time. Maybe take the apps off your phone so that they aren’t “always” available. Set up 1-2 times a day that you are “allowed” to look online and then steer clear the rest of the day.
I know how comparison makes me feel. And I don’t like it. At the beginning of this year I vowed to change it. I took Facebook off my phone and I stay off Instagram except for a couple set times a day. I also unfollowed a LOT of people. Not because I don’t admire them in one way or another, but because I just couldn’t keep beating myself up over what they had/did/saw that I didn’t. Not only has this saved me HOURS of time that I now use to do other stuff, it has also saved me a lot of grief.
In the end, I am me. There is no other me. I am a unique combination of things that no one else is. There is no other person on this planet that blends mom-photographer-wife-tea lover- tcu alum-jesus follower-type A- loves to travel- comes from divorced parents- etc etc etc etc like I do. EVERYTHING about me, makes me unique. So, why the heck do I constantly compare myself to others to see how I am measuring up when they aren’t me. It doesn’t make sense really. It is quite literally comparing apples to oranges. You have your story and I have mine. Both are right and special and wonderful no matter how different they are.
So, my friends, if you are still reading this, please stop getting down on yourself. Stop looking around. Stop the comparisons. You are on a journey. I am on a journey. We can coexist. We should coexist. I am going to continue marching along on my own path and I hope that you will do the same. Comparison only hurts us. So, let’s try to do less comparing and more connecting.
Much love friends.