Lately I’ve found myself falling into the trap of comparison.I caught myself thinking for a moment:
Wouldn’t it be easier if we were all the same?
I know that is so far from true that I stop and ask myself why? Is easy what I want from life?
I find that the root of comparison is my own insecurity.
As I look back over my life I recall countless times of insecurity. When I was in the classroom as a teacher, I was worried if I was doing my job well, if I was effective and productive. In dating and marriage – I worry that I’m not being a good girlfriend or wife. Am I fulfilling the role the way my husband desires? These feelings of insecurity all have something in common; they are other focused. I’m worried what other people think of me.
This past Saturday I was teaching my Holy Yoga class based on Brene Brown’s Guidepost for Cultivating Self-Compassion. In the new year I’ve been theme-ing my classes on her 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living. Through research she found that being “other focused” is driven by perfectionism. Whereas looking inward for our worth — with truth and grace — is self-compassion. And she goes on to explain we only love others as well as we love ourselves. #truthbomb
So as I begin to compare, my insides send up a red flag…I’m living more “other focused” than “inwardly focused.” This is dangerous because it leads me down one of two rabbit trails.
1) I begin to think I want a different life.
Wanting a different life means I believe the lie that the grass is greener on the other side. I’m not living out my deep-held belief that the present is the plan. God has placed me here today, to live this life on purpose.
Or I’m headed down a second rabbit trail:
2) I think the other person I’m comparing myself to should be doing it more like me. (Yikes!)
I’m in the trenches of raising littles and it has me feeling all sorts of insecure. I can’t even depend on my kids to give me feedback like my students and hubby do. This lack of feedback is scary… IF I’m trying to be perfect. Any other moms out there!?
In the trap of comparison I start to think…She does babywise? She does cry it out? She works part time? She stays home? She works full time? She bribes her kid with candy while potty training? (yeah that’s me) She chooses a Christian school? She chooses a public school? She disciplines like that? She lets her kid run free? Guys- how embarrassing when I write it into words. By comparing and thinking they should be doing it like me, I’m wishing we all did it the same.
I’m settling for sameness.
What if we all love our kids, or our people, or our jobs…but we do it differently.
Desiring sameness means I’m operating out of a scarcity mindset. That God doesn’t have enough love or creativity to allow each of us to live a unique and purposeful life. Comparison stifles connection. Perhaps they are even opposites.
If I am connected through love, than I see the goodness in the differences, like God does.
I enter into the wonder and mystery of God. That He has a greater picture than just me, and we are all a piece of the puzzle– different shapes, sizes, gifting and needs. Together we complete the picture. A puzzle with all the same pieces simply wouldn’t work.
God’s love and creativity is abundant and big; it won’t run out. And He created each of us uniquely in His image.
If I refuse to settle for sameness and embrace differences, I throw off scarcity and pick up abundance.
Instead of letting insecurity fuel me, I choose trust.
Trust that the people He surrounds me with are a gift to me, and their differences are all apart of His plan for my life.