COMPARISON IS A TRAP…I repeat COMPARISON is a TRAP! Don’t fall into it!
Today, I choose transparency. If I can be honest, COMPARISON is something I struggled with for quite some time. From the time I was a little girl until recent times, I struggled with knowing who I am. I constantly compared my appearance, personality, life, dreams & goals, and desires to those, especially girls/women, around me. I would hear other children being praised for their good lucks, gifts, talents, and smarts and feel like I wasn’t good enough. Although for a vast majority of my childhood, I made straight A’s, people thought I was cute, and people told me I had talents, my “goodness” was never good enough for me. People thought I was pretty just as people thought I was unattractive, but it seemed as if the negative comments I’d receive would always find a way to overshadow anything positive. The thoughts of others overshadowed my thoughts of self because I did not know who I was and Who ( Christ ) I belonged to. I saw the beauty of others being praised and longed to receive that same praise so I would emulate their mannerisms in hopes of finding some sort of comfort in “being like” them. Fast forward to high school, graduation, becoming a single mom and the age of social media, and the need to compare me to others was amplified.
During the dawn of Instagram, I worked a part-time job in mortgage banking where I found it hard not to compare myself to the women around me. I was struggling, living off of what seemed to be every branch of government assistance, and it seemed as if I worked strictly to pay the bills that I was constantly behind on. All I wanted to do was look good, have confidence, make money, take care of my child and grow, but my sight and mindset were set on other people’s living conditions. I was trying to keep up with the Jones. Talk about the comparison game. Everyone seemed to be living the “good life,” working their saditty/bougie jobs in corporate America, getting married, buying houses and cars, and there I was BBD (Broke, Busted, Disgusted), struggling with a baby in an apartment that leaked every time it rained. My time was consumed with scrolling down social media timelines coveting and watching reality TV shows. I was enamored with “Basketball Wives” and their fabulous lifestyles. I thought maybe a bodycon dress and some crystal earrings would give me some semblance of peace. I thought to make $2 more an hour would solve my money problems (aka my inability/lack of discipline to budget). I thought if only I could get 3 Brazilian weave bundles and a closure, I would feel beautiful. I thought if I kept my nails did every week like So & So, all of my self-esteem problems would be solved. These are just a few of the constant thoughts that drove me to a state of depression and anxiety. Although I was highly blessed, my mind was telling me otherwise. The things I experienced mentally were the things that schools and most parents don’t seem to prepare you for.
Comparison ruins lives. Comparing is a waste of time. Gifts and talents that could be exercised and strengthened are weakened and diminished by not being utilized. My self-esteem suffered tremendously over the years and in all honesty, I was simply broken and longing to be made whole. I was longing to know my purpose and not have worry about what the next (wo)man had or did. I thought that just because I had a dream if someone else had a similar dream, it nullified mine. I didn’t understand that we all have things to accomplish regardless of how many other people have similar ways of accomplishing theirs. Alicia won’t stop singing and playing piano all because another musician sings and plays better. She is great in her own right. That same principle applies to each of us.
Comparison almost ruined MY life. I wanted to know who I was. I did not who I was. Not knowing Christ and who I am in Him brought a lot of suffering into my life. Once I figured out who and Whose I was, my mindset began to change and is still changing as I continue to grow. I still fight off thoughts of comparison, but it is NOTHING compared to what it was like in the past. I thank God for that. I don’t let comparison stop me from being me anymore. Although the mental struggle of comparison was painful to go through, it made me a more confident person, today. I understand that we all have struggles to overcome, some struggles more difficult than others, but comparing is not one that you have to die with and not live your life because of. I no longer live in a constant state of comparison.
I now fill myself with the word of God, I lift myself up and encourage myself daily in the Lord. I love listening to motivating and inspiring podcasts because it keeps my mind in the right direction. I surround myself with those who are genuine and have great character. I got rid of cable TV many years ago, and if I find myself on social media too much, I unplug. I keep what I call a board of inspiration to keep my eyes focused on my goals and the mental state that I want to keep. I pray. I breathe. I praise and thank God for where He has brought me from and where He is taking me to. I don’t give comparison room to bunk in my life. I have so much peace knowing that God created me on purpose for HIS purpose…
“Thou shall not covet!” GOD (He didn’t say it for His own health 🙂