The Comparison Trap

Honestly, sometimes I feel like this guy.

Reach

Exhausted.  Stretched beyond my limit.  Feeling like I’m not measuring-up; that somehow I’ve managed to come-up short yet again. Feeling simply like a failure.   Anybody relate?    Those feelings are certainly not due to a lack of effort either.  Oh, no.  You see I’ve strained, grunted, and reached with what has seemed akin to super-human effort only to fall measurably short of the end goal.  It’s as if at times every fiber of my being has been stretched, pulled, and utterly taxed by the effort.  Yesterday, as I was showing my husband the “re-launch“, which he’s heard me talk and brainstorm through for months now, I quickly dismissed his encouragement with a jokingly sarcastic, “it will probably be just one more thing I fail at”.  Of course he rolled his eyes in exasperation.  While I’m in full admission mode here, I have another one.  Truly, and I say this with all sincerity, it had felt so good to finally see a “beginning” to this little re-launch of writing.  It may look on the outside like a small step but for me it was a huge one.  It meant that I was knocking some walls down, conquering some fears, and striving simply to be obedient to things pressed upon my heart.  I had spent a long while ironing some of the inner workings and bugs out of the blog it’s self and had felt as if I finally could take it live.  It felt good to have accomplished something yesterday. And then this morning happened.  I followed the link to another writer’s blog.  An awesome blog.  A beautiful blog.  You know the kind.  It had all the snazzy colors and designs that my creative heart flutters for.  I followed my first instincts and quickly scrolled to the bottom of the blog to see what the platform was, thinking, hey, maybe I could do something like this!  I followed the link and then like a needle to a balloon all the air deflated.  It was expensive.  Really expensive.  Mine’s free.  Go figure.

I meandered my way back to the highly polished looking blog feeling more and more like my attempts at one were lack-luster at best.  For a while I nearly lost the drive and excitement I had gained.  I definitely had lost proper perspective.  The comparison trap does that.  It steals our drive, saps our motivation and kills our confidence.  It sucks us into an endless cycle of doubt and questioned worth.  It can make functioning effectively ineffective.  You see, none of us really stop “functioning” in life unless of course we come to the end of it.  In life, sometimes that “functioning” feels more like surviving than truly living.  In survival mode, when our shields are up and our postures are curled inward, it’s pretty hard to be effective at anything except surviving. The comparison trap takes us on a down-ward spiral into jealousy and discontentment.  It tells us we fail, that we’re not enough, that we’re miss-fit mistakes or sorry excuses.  It persuades us to believe we are a bad mother, horrible father, ugly or useless.  It says we have about as much value as a pile of dirty diapers.

The truth is, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  When I worked as a para-educator in the special-ed department before my son was born we had this quote hanging on the wall by Dr. Seuss.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

The proper perspective is that we were created unique by a creator God who loves us more than we can possibly imagine.  Matthew 10:31-32 states, “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.  Did you know scripture also says God keeps account of your tears?  Psalm 56:8 says, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book?”  God didn’t want you to be like the person next to you.  He has a plan and purpose for you that is as unique as your DNA.  You are valuable, infinitely valuable, just as you are.  So much so that while we were yet sinners God sent His one and only Son to die for us, once and for all.  There is nothing more truer-than-true than God’s word.  That’s the measuring-stick.  Not some sparkling beautiful blog, magazine cover, well-behaved children or all-together parent.  It’s not the chiseled gym rats or successful entrepreneurs.  It’s God, His word.  That has final authority, final say.  The proper perspective is a right view of God.  With God in the equation, He has given us all things needed to accomplish the tasks that HE and HE alone has for us.  He is enough.  And, I would wager, that if we spent more time resting in His truth than jumping and wrestling around in the traps we would be instead dancing in a pretty sweet spot indeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “The Comparison Trap

  1. You are a great writer; more important, a deep thinker. Transparency is good…and I am proud of you. I look forward to reading more. I am also, oddly, in the process of regrouping and relaunching. Trying to combine a lot of stuff into one, contrary to “professional” advice…Yeah, it would be great to have a snazzy website, but..for the people that matter..content trumps flash. Keep trusting/praying/writing…

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