Have you ever found yourself completely content and happy with your life, only to feel pangs of jealousy soon after? I shared this concept with my bootcamp clients this week, but it's been on my heart for a while and I felt the need to write it out and process my thoughts. There are times when I am so happy and feel so blessed, and then wham, it hits me that I am not where I thought I would be, and not where others are around me. Please please, tell me I'm not alone. This is so vulnerable to share, but I know that honesty with struggles is the first step towards working through anything!
When I was growing up, I would often compare myself to others in the sense that I was an only child and others weren't. I remember being so jealous of brother-sister bonds, and wouldn't understand why siblings fought. Didn't they love each other too much? Didn't they KNOW how lucky they were?? I understand sibling relationships a bit better now, and thankfully have a slew of cousins that treat me like a sister, but it was an area of my life where comparison played a huge role growing up.
As a young woman, comparison took other forms. Appearance, weight, grades, friends, boyfriends, etc. all gave me a reason to look at others, then look at myself, and focus on what I lacked. I would notice girls with boyfriends, clearer skin, better grades, and more friends. It's funny because I always thought that once I had those things, I wouldn't lack anything. I would be fulfilled and satisfied and never be jealous again. Um...false.
I'm married now. I feel the healthiest I have ever felt. I've realized grades never mattered much. I have a business from home. I HAVE a home. And yet, there is still always something I find to be discontent about from time to time:
- I'm in shape, but not AS in shape as so and so.
- We have an apartment, but so and so has an actual HOUSE.
- I have a job, but I also have student loans, which totally stress me out.
- I have "okay" skin, but so and so has even better skin.
- I've always wanted to be a mom, and so and so who is the same age as me already has 2 kids.
And on and on it goes. I've realized that the more I look at what I lack, the more things I will be discontent about. The more things I will realize that I am missing. And that my friends, is just NO WAY TO LIVE.
I'm on a mission to be thankful to God for where He has placed me at this very moment. Thankful for our cozy and quaint apartment. Thankful for a healthy body that can move. Thankful for good friends. Thankful for being a Beachbody coach that has helped me make my monthly loan payments, and then some.
When I start to focus on what I am thankful for, the things I lack become minuscule. I don't put my energy into the comparison game anymore, because I realize that God has given me so much, and there is no time to worry about anything else. The more time I spend worrying, the more time I spend on ME, and not where God wants me, which is to glorify and serve HIM. We have way too much potential inside of us to worry and stress about what we lack. Why don't we focus on what we can GIVE, and all the blessings that we have in this life? That's what I will be striving for daily!
Have you ever played the comparison game? What helps you get out of that funk and into a place of joy and contentment? I'd love to hear your thoughts!