Comparison, the thief of joy
Tap. Someone’s gone out for brunch with their friends.
Tap. Someone’s at a party.
Tap. Someone’s vacationing at your dream destination.
Tap. Someone’s smiling and laughing- having the best time of their lives.
You’re sucked in. Your heart clenches. You’re drowning in desire and the green-eyed monster has found yet another victim.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the quote ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ - it couldn’t hold more truth to it, especially when we're on social media.
Comparing ourselves to others can be incredibly harmful for our self-esteem and more so for our mental health. We often see the highlights of other people's lives on social media, and forget that we are only viewing a small, curated, perfectly edited portion of their reality.
Our eyes are gifted with the pretty colours, saturation, the most perfect picture, out of the hundred the original poster would’ve taken. However, our hearts are left feeling inadequate, insecure and dissatisfied with our own unfiltered life.
It's easy to get lost in the endless scroll of social media, comparing ourselves to the lives of others. It's natural to feel envious and question why our own life doesn't measure up to theirs.
But, what we don't see is the sleepless nights, the doubts, their own experience with the green eyed monster and their own feelings of dissatisfaction and insecurity. What we don't see are the innumerable times they refreshed their own story to see who viewed and liked it, each time they considered deleting a post, each time they checked and rechecked everything to make sure it looked perfect - picture perfect.
The comparison game is a slippery slope, sliding down to nowhere but a path of self-doubt, self-destruction and self-loathing. It can make us feel like we are constantly falling short, never quite reaching the level of success or happiness that others seem to effortlessly attain.
But the truth is, there is and never will be a one-size-fits-all definition of success, happiness or a ‘teenage dream’. Each and every one of us have our own unique path to follow, our own dreams and aspirations, and our own definition of what it means to live a fulfilling life!
So, the next time you find yourself scrolling through social media, feeling the pangs of envy and the whispers of the green eyed gorgon, get out of your own head. Remember that what you are seeing is only a small chapter of someone else's story, and that your own is just as valuable and worthy of celebration. In fact, take a couple pretty pictures of your day and post them- or just look at them, and you’ll laugh at how easily assumptions are born with just a few pictures.
Instead of focusing on what others have that you don't, focus on what you do have. Cultivate gratitude for the blessings in your life, and work towards your own goals and aspirations with passion and determination.
Comparison may be the thief of joy, clenching our hearts with icy chains that get tighter with each restraint.
…But the power to restore and reclaim that joy? the power to break out of the chains and gasp out for air?
Is within us. It always has been.
Break out of the chains.
Free your heart from the monster’s clenches.