We’ve all done it…scrolled through our Facebook page or Instagram account and noticed how that one certain mom/dad just does it better than us. They seem to always have it together. Their kids are dressed to perfection and are always taking part in some extra-curricular activity. They photograph the most healthy, put-together meals that even Beyonce would want to try.
And don’t get me started on the parents…I mean the mom looks as though she couldn’t have birth those babies with that awesome body. Her hair looks as though she came from the salon every morning and her clothes were hand picked for her by Vera Wang. The dad…what dad? He looks like he just walked off a GQ Magazine cover. Their love for their kids are poured out with the most endearing words as if they are raising angels.
I mean…COME ON!! It’s hard not to compare yourself and your life to those around you. Parents who are raising future presidents, co-workers who accomplish more than you or church members who seem more righteous than you always makes you second guess your life and what’s wrong with it.
Comparing our lives with others always takes us in two separate directions:
Makes us feel worse
Makes us feel better
When we feel worse than the person we are comparing ourselves with, we feel: ignorant, embarrassed, weak, inferior, guilty, depressed
When we feel better than the person we are comparing ourselves with, we feel: proud, accomplished, mature, smart, confident, justified, superior
Both are detrimental to our mental health. But what’s more important to know is we don’t see the full picture. That person who we are admiring so much and seeking to live up to their standards might very well be trying to live up to ours.
We don’t know what they are struggling with. That mom could be very lonely at home with her kids. She could have body image issues. Her husband could be a workaholic. They could perhaps be on the cusp of loosing their home, WHO KNOWS!!
But what we do know is that everyone is struggling with something. No one is perfect and we have to remind ourselves that every day. Pricilla Shirer stated in her book, The Armour Of God, that ‘comparing ourselves to others is deceiving because it’s a measurement against an inaccurate standard.’ No one is perfect. And who said what they are doing is supreme?
What we need to do is be grateful for what we have. We need to remind ourselves that what we have and what’s happening right here and right now is good. We need to constantly look at our own lives and know that if it’s working for us, that’s all that matters.