If I could speak to the ladies at our church about one topic – one deadly topic – a daily killer of women . . . it would be comparison.
Comparison will kill you. It will foster insecurity until it becomes a cancer of your soul. It will mold bitterness inside you that will eventually eat you up, and all that will be left is a mere shell of a woman. The scariest part, maybe, is it will show on your face.
All too often I see women of all ages trapped in a prison of “trying too hard” – feeling they have to “measure up” to something or someone; that desperate need to catch the glances of a thousand men. Maybe you’ve heard it all before, but in recent years I’ve noticed a funny fact. It’s not just the glances of a thousand men that are being vied for. You see, when women wake up and go to pick out an outfit in the morning for church or a coffee shop date, a lot of the time women dress to impress others in their life, and often it’s for other women, not men.
Women are stealth most of the time, but I know we’ve all been there. I catch the glances – the looks of comparison, the looks of “seasoned gazing”. I dare not to go there in my mind to try to figure out whether it was a positive or negative judgment by the women’s beady eyes. It happens from as young as one or two years old (tragically enough I even see little girls checking out what my three-year-old daughter is wearing).
Now, don’t get me wrong . . . there is nothing wrong with appreciating the beauty of a woman or what she is wearing. I’m the first to say if someone looks super cute. I’m just saying that my desire is to see women set free from negative comparison, jealousy and the disease of insecurity that chews women up and spits them out.
It breaks my heart that some women feel clothed in weakness and shame when, as women, we are called to be “clothed with strength and dignity.” It breaks my heart when I daily see women with deep sadness in their eyes due to the prison in which they live. Worries, sadness, and anxiety are the chains that keep them in this prison. They are bound by their past, dissatisfied with their present, and fearful about the point of their future, or, in their minds, a lack thereof.
Even in their own home they can be their own worst enemy. Every mirror, every angle, every pair of jeans they keep on the shelf for that day they dream of “one day fitting into again”.
So, okay ladies. Are you ready for the hard questions to ask yourself?
Do you see this in your own life? Wanting to be the prettiest; neeeeeeeding those cute shoes? Do you sense yourself about to snap, scream or even have a mini breakdown at the next engagement or “I’m pregnant” status post? Does your blood boil watching that woman pull up in her big, fancy car she gets to have?
Even in the last week I have had MULTIPLE conversations with women about this and I will keep saying this until I am blue in the face…
If you are comparing yourself to a certain someone, take a step away. Stop choking yourself in her sickly sweet perfume. If you get distance you will probably get perspective. Hang out with ladies that build each other up, not tear down.
What is the topic of conversation when you hang out with women? Is it catty, full of comparison or all centered around “me, me, me”? Move on. Get new friends. Seek out real women of strength and integrity that are filling their life with truth and not the game of jealousy and comparison.
If you are struggling with comparison from afar, it’s simple. Discipline yourself to stop it.
STOP FOLLOWING BLOGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
STOP READING FACEBOOK STATUSSES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. The muscle of self-control: work it out – use it. The more you do, the easier it gets.
Just stop comparing. STOP IT.
Honestly ladies, comparison will kill you AND your family. And your friends. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve watched it from far and near and it’s ugly.
FACT: There will always be a person that has more friends, has better ideas on Pinterest, is funnier, prettier, photos are better, business makes more money, buys cuter home items, has a better marriage, is a better homemaker, mother, baker, cook, etc., etc., etc. You know, whatever it is about that Facebook friend or blog that is unintentionally making you feel intimidated – stop reading. Just stop it.
EMBRACE YOURSELF AND YOUR LIFE JUST HOW YOU ARE.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 ESV
Photo provided by Rachel Naramore