Comparison is the thief of joy, comparison is the thief of joy, comparison is the thief of joy. Come on, say it with me. Comparison is the thief of joy. Now ponder those six words. Let them resonate in your soul. What an epiphany. Really, it is. We don’t stop and wonder why we feel bad about our life and what is going on, only that we feel that way and wish that we didn’t. But what triggered the thought? What brought you to the place that made you feel like you were missing something?
When I read Tracey’s post it clicked, almost audibly, that I was a victim of comparison. As long as I went about my life living it to its fullest, I was fine but when I started comparing my circumstances to the people around me I noticed a change. I was unhappy, bitter, angry and even resentful sometime of what others had that I didn’t. It didn’t matter that I didn’t need it or even want it. The issue was that they had and I did not. It made me feel inferior and out of my league when in reality I’m right where I need to be. I mean seriously, how could I not be? How many people can say that they are doing what they enjoy doing and get paid a pretty decent salary to boot. I’m living my dream and although it isn’t what other people had for me it’s what I wanted. Maybe not 100% how I imagined it would be, but pretty dead on. Are there things I would change? Absolutely but not at the expense of losing what I have, who I am or walking outside of what God has for me vs. what I “think” I should have because someone else has it.
I’d love a bigger house with a bigger bedroom and a bathtub/shower combo in my bathroom, a mini cooper, new furniture, a tank full of heating oil, a pantry overflowing and money to spare but what would I have to sacrifice in order to have it? Working two jobs, 60+ hours a week, less time with my husband and kids, less time to volunteer at church or at the Y? No thanks. I’ll survive. We always have and in the end that’s what matters. I imagine that one day there will be a time when some of those things will come about a lot easier than they do now and I will cherish that time but in the meantime I won’t keep wishing for, snipping about and salivating over the new stuff that Mr. & Mrs. Jones got because I’m not sure I want to have to go through what they went through to get what they have. Besides, who’s to say that they are any happier than I am because they have all of that stuff?
In the long run, if I lost everything that I have but still had my husband and kids to love that’s all I’d need. We’d pick up the pieces and start all over again.
So I’m going to make a concerted effort to not let myself get caught up in the comparison game. I don’t want to lose the joy I do have about my life for the stuff that I don’t have.
How about you? Is your joy being stolen like a thief?