A raw look at how comparison impacts my life…
It is 6:19 am on Saturday morning. I have a grocery store tour with a client this am and set my alarm early so I could proofread a post I had scheduled to go out tomorrow. When I woke up, my mind was on others things and felt strongly about spending my precious early morning hours writing this post vs. proofreading the other one. Strongly is probably an understatement, it was more like a “I have to write about this right now” type of feeling. When I get those types of fires in my belly, I hop out of bed, turn on the coffee, wrap myself in my favorite fleece blanket (handmade by my Aunt Sue over 10 years ago for my 21st birthday!), sit at my computer, and let Magic snuggle at my feet.
Awhile back, I shared Cody and I’s infertility struggle with you all. At the time of writing that post, I felt very isolated, like I was the only one experiencing setbacks with trying to conceive. You would not believe the amount of women (of all ages) who reached out to me and shared their own personal stories of infertility, miscarriages, successful pregnancies, IVF, IUI’s, etc. If you are one of those women who reached out to me with your story, sent a card, or gave me a gift, I want to thank you. More than anything, you have given me hope. You have shown me that I am not isolated and that in some situations (unknown why to us) we have to experience struggle and pain before we can experience joy.
Cody and I are still moving forward in our journey and it hasn’t been a straight path to say the least. At some point, I will share the ups and downs and twists and turns with you but right now doesn’t feel like the right time. I will have you know, I have been privately blogging throughout my whole experience in the hopes that someday I will release all of those posts. My hope is that some woman will be able to take my experience and use it to improve her own outlook, to give her comfort in a time of sadness, to let her know she is not alone, to show her that just because life didn’t turn out exactly the way she planned, doesn’t mean she has to give up living.
The point of this blog post today is comparison. Being a health coach, I bring up this topic with almost all of my clients because we all do it! You may do it so much that you don’t even realize it! Comparison can happen in many different situations, for example, comparing yourself physically to the person next to you in your exercise class, comparing your physical appearance to what it was pre-baby or pre-adult life, comparing your clothes to someone else’s, comparing your job title, comparing your salary, or even comparing your entire life!
Have you ever been guilty of comparison?
I have cycles of comparing myself to other women that have children. I feel like maybe their “grass is greener” because they have been able to have children. I sometimes feel left out because I can’t join in the conversation about swim class, breast feeding, teething, which stroller is the best, etc. I would really give my right arm (well, probably my left for sure) to know what it feels like to be up all hours of the night with a hungry baby, to have raw nipples from breast feeding, or to have a screaming baby in my cart as I wander endlessly up and down the Target aisles. These annoyances are things I long for.
Social media makes it worse too. Scrolling through my Facebook feed, I see ultrasound pictures, pictures of growing baby bumps, or just cute pictures of kids in general. It just makes me long for that too. It is hard to explain to someone who has never felt this kind of, I hate to say the word, jealousy, but I am not unhappy for all of those people, I am just sometimes unhappy for my situation.
I am not pointing a finger at any one person; I don’t want my mom friends to feel uncomfortable around me or stop talking to me about their kids because the truth is that I just can’t wait until I can join them! Writing this post, I have fears of offending someone who is a mom and that is SO not my intention! My goal is to express an area of my life where comparison is a real thing.
My point is that comparison is UGLY. Comparison robs you of joy. Comparison makes you feel less than your best. Comparison makes you feel like you are not good enough. All of these things are just not true, plain and simple.
95% of the time I do not compare but that 5% of the time can be really nasty. Fighting against comparison is something I consistently work on and also encourage my clients to do too. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I try to focus on what I do have and ask God to give me patience, strength, and faith to know that one day we will be parents to beautiful children. When I step back and put everything into perspective, I have a loving, supportive, and strong husband, I have a wonderful family, I have in-laws that treat me as their own, I have a job that gets me out of bed every single day with excitement, I have wonderful friends who support me through my ups and downs, I am able to take vacations, I am healthy, I am able to take care of myself physical, and I experience life in many beautiful ways.
So I realize, that grass isn’t always greener. You have to spend time manicuring, watering, fertilizing, and nurturing your own grass if you want it to be fruitful. If you talk negatively to your grass, compare it to your neighbors, or cut it down all of the time, it isn’t going to grow. Have you ever had a season or two of bad grass (in real life) but kept at the watering, fertilizing, and seeding and then the next Spring it turned out beautiful, lush, and deep green? Philosophically speaking, you have to water your own grass everyday. Don’t waste precious time standing at the fence-line admiring your neighbors lawn when you could be putting that energy into your own.
Just when you want to give up is when a miracle happens.
Don’t ever give up.
Ironically enough, I have 3 minutes to spare until I need to hop in the shower. Funny how life works out sometimes! I hope this blog post has found the person who needed to read it today. Much love to you. Muah. Xo.