One of the worst habits I deal with on a day to day basis is comparing myself to those around me. Are they skinnier than me? Prettier? Smarter? More successful? More spiritual? In a happy relationship? If there’s a way in which I can discover a new failing within myself, I’ll latch onto it. It’s been going on for years, but it was only the other day, after finding myself crying in bed following a conversation in which my friend told me about her happy new relationship that I began to realise the extent of the impact it was having on my life.
My own life is not terrible, by any stretch of the imagination, and that’s something those around me frequently bring to my attention. “But Georgie,” they say, “you have an amazing job/you’re doing really well at uni/you have these awesome friends/your family are so supportive/you just won a trip to Paris/etc./etc.”. It’s at this point that I bring out one of the most used phrases in my vocabulary – “yeah, but…”. Instead of accepting the positivity they’re offering me, rather than seeing my life as it appears to outsiders, I’ll whip out my half-empty glass and go on to complain about everything wrong with my life. All I can think is “well, if they have it, why can’t I? I’d finally be happy if I had that”. Instead of counting my blessings, I’ve become obsessed with my perceived burdens. I’m single. My anxiety makes it hard for me to participate. My job can be stressful. I could be doing so much more than I currently am, I should be doing so much more.
Somewhere along the line, I missed the lesson on being content with what I have, with what God has given me. I managed to become obsessed with what I could have, rather than being thankful for the blessings right in front of me.
A few months ago, my mum decided to do one of those gratefulness challenges on Facebook. At the time, I laughed at her, but I’ve come to realise that I should be adopting one myself. Living moment by moment, day by day, and focusing on all the things I’ve been given rather than all the things I’m missing out on is the first step to potential happiness.
God has these amazing plans for our lives, plans that He mapped out for us before we were even born, and they are so much better than we could ever dream of. But we need to trust in Him and His timing, or we risk sabotaging everything He is working towards in our lives. If I spend too long stuck in my room crying about what I don’t have, I might miss out on what I could have, on what God wants me to have. Remembering we’re all on our own journeys, and at different stages of said journeys, is something I really need to work on. Life is not a race, as much as I feel like it is at times. Nobody wins for getting married first, or for having the best career at the youngest age. That’s just not the point of life, and I need to stop believing that it is.
Overcoming my comparison problem and finding a content heart is not something that is going to happen overnight, but I do believe that it is something which I can conquer (with a lot of work, and help from God).
So, today I am grateful that I am currently spending a week at home recharging my batteries, and that my plans for tonight involve eating one of my favourite meals, and marathoning Psych season six with my parents. Sometimes it truly is the smallest things that can make our souls the most joyful.