I often find myself peering through the window of social media into other people’s lives. Most of the time I end up comparing myself, my family, and my life circumstances to other people’s.
There are days that I feel overwhelmed by poopy diapers, laundry piles, and dirty dishes. But then I see an Instagram post from a mom of seven and feel guilty. I only have one baby, I can’t imagine how she is feeling with seven kiddos. I downplay the difficulties of my circumstances because someone has a life that I perceive as harder.
But it can also go the opposite way. I look at posts from friends still in college who complain about being tired, stressed and overwhelmed by homework and projects. They don’t know what it’s like to be this tired and this stressed. Just wait ’til kids… I downplay the realities of others’ circumstances to justify the difficulty of mine.
When we either devalue or rationalize our own circumstances we aren’t allowing ourselves to be present. We create this fictitious world in our minds that is constantly measuring our circumstances against other’s.
Your hard is your hard.
Someone else having a different circumstance doesn’t make yours any less real, challenging, or stressful.
Embrace your circumstances – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Be present in your life. Feel all of the feels.
I’ve said this before in other blogs, but I will say it again (mostly because I need to be reminded of this daily): comparison is a thief of joy. We need to shift our mindsets from comparison to compassion.
Yes, of course there are people going through incredibly hard, difficult seasons right now. Instead of comparing, pray. Even if you are going through a difficult season yourself, pray for others. And send out encouragement when you can.
If comparison is a thief of joy, then compassion is a seed for joy. And encouragement is a great fertilizer!
Friends, together let’s begin to plant seeds of joy in our lives.