Whether we realize it or not, our days are filled with comparison – from the second we open our eyes in the morning. We compare clothes in our closet to decide what we’re going to wear. We compare commute times to decide which way we’re going to drive that day. We compare options for lunch. We compare products on the store shelves to decide what we’re going to purchase. Our daily lives are filled with unavoidable comparisons.
But why do we fill our lives with unnecessary comparison? Comparing our children’s progression in school & sports, comparing incomes to our peers, comparing the sizes of our houses. We compare possessions, lifestyles, our outward appearances, our marriages. The list is absolutely endless.
Recently, I was talking to a friend while I was having a rough day. My kids had been sick and I was just overall feeling like a less than ideal mother. My house was a wreck. My mother and sister have both passed away, so I don’t have any “sisterhood” to swing by my house to help out or even just to say hey. Satan was stealing my joy and making me feel incredibly inadequate and bitter, so I reached out for some comfort. When I shared this with her, her first response was, “Well, you should just be thankful you at least have your husband.”
I was dumbfounded and speechless – which doesn’t happen very often. It wasn’t shared in a loving way to try to remind me I still have blessings despite my challenges. It was the exact opposite and quite unsympathetic. She caught me incredibly off guard and left me feeling way worse than what I already was. Granted, she is going thru a terrible divorce so perhaps she wasn’t the best to share my struggles with, but it really hurt my feelings. Yes, while my marriage may not be in shambles, while I have never had to endure losing a child and while I’ve never experienced many other things my friend has, that does not lessen my problems. We’re human & we’re all wired differently. Different things hold different weight in our lives. What’s super important to me may hold mediocre importance to you. We all face trials & tribulations. We’re not always just what meets the eye. You never know what someone’s past contains.
If you’re guilty of passing off some comparison – just don’t. No matter what you’re going thru, no matter how helpless or down in the dumps you may feel, there is something in your life that someone else would be grateful for. It may seem small or insignificant to you, but to someone else it could mean the world. And if you’re on the end of receiving some comparison – try not to take it to heart. We mere humans aren’t always aware of just how hurtful we can be sometimes.