Guilty. I’ve done it a time or two. Honestly, it happens. It happens all the time. I notice it in others more than I notice it in myself – shocker, I know. I’ve looked around or on social media and thought – wow – her house is so clean. I’ve thought “how awesome is that” or “wow, what a vacation.” Whether it was a clean house, a vacation, or whatever, I have considered that my situation should look better than it did in that moment. What I’ve noticed recently is the lies that we tell ourselves after we have decided that these “things” are so much better than what we have. So, mama, you are enough. Sister, you are good. Family, you are worthy. Keep going.
The most interesting and concerning comparisons I have noticed lately are rooted in jealousy & anger. Here are a few:
Why do I have to wear a mask if “he/she/they” don’t have to? Mostly, I’ve seen this in reference to some public figure or celebrity (local or national ones).
I’ll never be “that” good. OR “What else do they have to do except keep their house clean, or go to the gym?” “She must not eat, look at how skinny she is.”
Why do they get “that” (insert vacation, beautiful family, house, boyfriend, etc.) and I don’t? When will it be my turn? This one may look and feel like jealousy or hatefulness. I actually think this one is rooted in insecurity and negative self-talk.
That can’t be “real” it must be “fake”. That can’t be true is the sentiment with this one.
Comparing Yourself or Situation to Defend Your Position
Better than that, when did it become so widely accepted and tolerated to point out what others are doing? Let’s say you don’t want to wear a mask or drive the speed limit for that matter, why did we start making fun or poking holes at the folks that are wearing masks and driving the speed limit? We don’t. Why are folks so invested in defending their behavior by comparing it to others who are behaving the same way? Or worst, why are folks committed to calling out those who are following the rules when they aren’t? I think sometimes people need other co-signers of their behavior. Why? Who cares what folks are doing or not doing? Designing your argument by comparing yourself to others is where you will always lose me. Give me some straight up I don’t wanna do it and we can chat, otherwise, it’s futile. Y’all remember when we were kids and folks said things like “Well Chrissy did it too” and your mom replied if Chrissy jumped off the bridge, would you jump too?
Jealousy is Rooted in Envy
This one is so interesting to me. Some folks won’t clap for others – ever. What happened to “wow, she looks great” or mentioning to someone their outfit is cute? What about when folks are thriving and happy – clap. Try it. If someone looks good, tell them. If you can’t or won’t, ask yourself why it bothers you so much. I don’t get it. Help me understand this one without comparing yourself. Your light won’t be dimmed by others’ light. Clap y’all.
Are They Worthy
When folks are happy and thriving why do people question others’ worth? I’m confused. Is there some reason why folks aren’t allowed to be happy and thrive? Why does it matter if you deem them worthy? Help me understand – why are folks invested in trying to figure this out.
Is It My Turn Yet?
The broken record folks. Yup. Me next? When can I get one? Are there any left for me? Why do they get one and I can’t get one too? Whew. Here is the good news – God provides – always. Your turn is coming – ask and pray. You have to put in the work and not compare your timelines to others. You don’t have a clue how much work was put into this person’s situation. Stop investing time in others and invest time and energy in yourself/your situation.
Real vs. Fake
Oh, that’s fake. What you think – looks fake to me, right? They aren’t “that” rich (or whatever you are telling yourself that can’t be true for the other person). It’s not really them, it is someone related to them. Who cares? They aren’t responsible for your thoughts about them. They likely could care less about what you think.
Compare yourself to you. Where were you pre-pandemic? What about a year ago? You good? Your people? How yo mama and ‘dem? Learn from others. Clap for others when they win. What work, love, effort, fights, community issues, self-reflections, new job, new house, etc. have you focused on lately. Have you pulled out your vision board from a few years back? If you have extra time on your hands, what are you planning to do with it? What are you passionate about or good at? What are your biases? Have you checked them lately? Good begets good. Good thoughts produce more good thoughts. Goodness and kindness are contagious. Focus on the positive. Do good work. St. Joseph’s diner is looking for help – sign up online. Work on yourself until you get tired, take a nap, and do it again. Your only competition is you. Your joy comes from you. Manifest joy. Manifest happiness. Your happiness is not rooted in others. Remember to count it all joy – James 1:2.