Balancing Comparison

I believe comparison is something that many struggle with.  After thinking about it for a few days I’ve come to this conclusion:

My first thought is that comparison helps me to be the best version of myself.  Comparison helps me to put my life into perspective and recognize where I stand.  I can compare the way that I feel on days when I exercise to the way that I feel when I don’t exercise and recognize that moving my body helps me feel happier and healthier.  I compare the ends of my hair now to the way that they looked after a fresh cut and realize that I need a new haircut!  I can compare the way that I feel when I do service activities to the way that I feel when I focus on myself all day.  No doubt, comparison can be a helpful and good thing.

However, comparison hurts when I compare my imperfections to others perfections.  Comparison hurts when I compare my straight, blonde hair to another’s luscious, curly hair.  It hurts when I compare my jean size to another’s jean size.  Comparison can drag anyone down and make them feel lonely, unworthy, and depressed.  Comparison can make anyone feel like their best is not good enough.  

Comparison can bring anyone down when comparing things that aren’t comparable!  We are each perfectly unique.  We cannot compare our talents to another’s talents because we each have completely different strengths and weaknesses.  It’s like comparing apples and oranges– apples grow in cool climates, oranges grow in warm climates.  Apples have a smooth skin, oranges have a rough skin.  Apples are great for a pie on Thanksgiving, oranges are great as a flavored chocolate for Christmas.  We all have different likes and dislikes; different schedules and bodies.  We have each lived completely unique lives.  There are not two people that have been through the exact same experiences!

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  I believe that wholeheartedly when it comes to things that shouldn’t be compared.  We can’t compare our chapter one to another’s chapter twenty.

So many of us compare ourselves to the movie stars, the famous athletes, the girl at school who always seems to have it all.  We compare ourselves to the person who appears to have more money, the girl who has a thinner waistline, and the girl who always seems to look put together.  We get so worried about being “pretty”.  Let’s be pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty smart, pretty strong.

Your worth does not depend on the acne you have or do not have, the number on the scale, the brand of your clothing you are wearing, or the quality of your home.  Your worth does not depend on workout you did this morning, the dessert you ate yesterday, the amount of free time you have in a day, or the church calling you have.  We are each made perfectly.  While we may have differences, this does not mean one person is worth more than another.

You are perfectly unique. 

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