Cliché

Comparison is the thief of joy.

I have heard that saying often enough that my brain now discounts it as a cliché – a well-worn statement that has, for all its truth, lost its power to make me think other than to maybe nod my head or, if I’m feeling particularly snarky, roll my eyes.

Now, I can’t speak for everyone but two of my greatest struggles are comparison and insecurity. Sure, sure. Those who know me minimally might say, “What? You seem so confident!” And while most of the time I am happy and confident there is that creeping part of me that can ruin my life if I let it. That little bit of me can run absolutely rampant, especially when spending any amount of time on social media. And certain, very unflattering truths about me and the state of my heart come leaking out.

Is she prettier than me? No, no. Of course she isn’t. Well, maybe . . .

Do I look fat in that picture?

Why is that picture getting more likes than mine?

Why doesn’t everyone say encouraging things to me like they always do to her? They must like her better.

And the toxicity goes on until I have this icky twisted knot in the pit of my stomach.

Can anyone relate? Yes? No? If not, I still think you may find a little gem in the rest of this post.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

 Now that I’ve stated that three times, let me elaborate.

While I’m sitting at home scrolling on my phone and looking at the wonderful glimpses of everyone else’s life and feeling left out, let down or less than I’m missing two very important things.

First of all, if I bothered to look around every once in a while I would see quite a few really lovely things that would distract me from someone else’s life long enough to smile at what I’ve been given. Like a hot dark-eyed guy who loves me, parents who are literally fabulous, pictures of the places I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to, extended family who fills our fridge with soup and pot pies when we’re sick, and in the mirror I’d see the reflection of a short girl with sometimes brown, sometimes blonde hair who has been told her whole life that she’s beautiful by anyone who means anything to her.

Secondly, I’m missing an opportunity to feel joy for other people. And joy is often in short supply in this world, so I’m going to work on not mucking up any more of these opportunities with the comparison game. Because insecurity, jealously and comparison really don’t have any room to grow with joy and contentment. Joy and contentment are too big, too filling to leave a lot of room for much else.

And so, while I’ve never had a serious new year resolution aside from learning how to wink (still a work in progress, three years later) this is my resolution, no my creed, heading into 2018.

Contentment is the protector of joy.

Any thoughts, actions or words that begin with comparison and end with insecurity I’m going to work really hard to turn away from. Heaven knows I’ve been given enough good, affirming words to combat them with, and enough blessings in my life to be thankful for instead of griping over the fact that someone’s picture got more likes than mine. It’ll be a change, because so often I’ve reached for the ugly thoughts, the lies and half-truths about myself that are somehow easier to believe than anything true, kind or good.

But I’m curious to see what my life will look like when I stop looking for myself in everyone else and just see them. I’m curious to see what my life will look like when I stop looking for what I don’t possess and habitually start seeing what is true of me. I’m curious to see what will happen when instead of reaching for a lie, I hug tightly to the truth. I wonder what my life will be when I don’t chase the rabbit of insecurity down the rabbit hole into Comparison Land. What will happen? I’m curious to see.

I’m hoping it won’t hold true with the old cliché “curiosity killed the cat.” But I am hoping my curiosity will kill comparison. And I’ll learn to live happily ever after with the happily’s I’ve been given. And know that the grass isn’t always greener . . .

Happy New Year, everyone 🙂