A few weeks ago the following topic reached it’s breaking point for me and I knew I needed to write something. So let’s be honest for a second, or a few minutes here. This is important and I need your attention. We as women (some men, but I’m really strongly speaking to the women) are really doing ourselves a real disservice. Also I’m preaching to myself here, this is a real problem with me. Literally my thoughts scrolling through instagram tonight are as follows:
– “what kind of camera is that? What can I sell to get a nice camera? what even kind of blogger am I without a camera.”
– “Oh of course he’s in Asia, he’s always traveling! Jealloussss”
– “She’s so gorgeous even without makeup, I could never pull that off”
– ” Man! Did every freaking blogger go buy fresh flowers tonight… maybe I should be buying fresh flowers more often and instagramming them, people really seem to like it.”
– “Love that dress, cant afford it.”
– “Seriously quit posting the same picture of your child (or dog, or food, etc)
-“LAUREN CONRAD CAN I JUST BE YOU”
We have become a culture obsessed with comparison intentional or not. What’s worse is we’re comparing off a single image, not even a real person, life, or soul. Just an image.
In our heads we imagine the lavish life, the happy life, the carefree life, the healthy life, that these people must live based on a moment, a snapshot. This is not reality. This is not life. This is not truth.
The reality is that life is messy, real humans with real lives have backstories, have history, have really hard times. The reality is that the image that you are comparing yourself to is ( I would venture to say) 85% meticulously thought out. The clever caption and even location stewed on for minutes on end. This is more than likely the 15th selfie (guilty) and edited to the perfect light only using your favorite vsco or other filters. You have to step back and realize there’s no way that all 100 bloggers you follow can all spill out their purses so perfectly.
The pictures aren’t the problem though, and I’m definitely not suggesting that every photo has a backstory. A lot of the time the photos are artistic and sometimes inspirational and I can dig it. It’s the comparing. If you can look at another person’s photo and use that as inspiration, then that’s awesome! I applaud you, because I often cannot seem to make the jump from self doubt to genuinely happy for someone.
Comparison brings out jealousy, it brings out my low self-confidence and lowers it even more. You were each fearfully and wonderfully made by a God that doesn’t mess around. Be confident in that.
Sometimes though we compare ourselves in another way as to put down so that we can build ourselves up. Well this is so messed up and backwards. We need to be building each other up, be really happy for friends’ and strangers’ successes, but also be happy for what you have too.
My sister-in-law told me that in prep for this article I should read an article about comparison that John Acuff wrote and he had an excellent quote:
” Comparing yourself to someone else’s journey is the best way to miss the one you’re actually on.”
In addition, the Bible has some interesting things to say about comparison. These were some of my favorites just purely based on a google search of “What the Bible says about comparison.”
– Galatians 1:10- Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ
-Philippians 2:3- Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourself.
Then I came across 2 Corinthians 10:12 -We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
So it all made perfect sense.
Just kidding I had to look up what this meant. So this group of men who were constantly comparing themselves and admiring themselves and setting their own standard for greatness are not wise. Some versions say “are without understanding.” Another commentary mentioned that they “missed out,” and “they lose.”
So I am in no way a Biblical scholar so forgive me if I’ve totally missed the mark, but what I take away is that we are without understanding, we “lose” when we are constantly comparing, especially when we are looking to admire our own self.
I know that God leads me to these verses personally, so I can see the resemblance and know that the Bible is still relevant and absolutely pertains to our life now.
So here’s the deal. I am going to prove to you that what I am saying is real. Transparency is the name of the game so I have been asking my friends for the last couple weeks to send me photos of times where it looks like their posts were on point, but there was more to the story. I know that it is a long post but I can promise you that each of their stories are worth your while.
I commend each of these women all so much for being so beautiful, and sharing their real truth behind these photos.
“It looks like a typical happy outing with my gorgeous sisters but I was feeling so insecure that day. I wasn’t really use to my new short hair and our mom offered to buy us all a little something but I lied and said I didn’t want anything when the reality was nothing I was trying on fit. You wouldn’t know that from my post though.”- Keeley