Comparison is the thief of joy. –Theodore Roosevelt
I remember sitting in church as a teenager and looking at all the Dads who sat with their families. Some had arms around the Moms. I use to dread anything that required the Priesthood because I knew it wouldn’t be my Dad doing it. I compared myself to all the teenagers who had Dads at church with them.
Comparison really was the thief of my joy at that time. It wasn’t until I got older and discovered that many Mormon friends who had Dads active in the church, still didn’t have a relationship with their Dad. Just because their Dad came to church, didn’t mean their life was “perfect”.
Sometimes we know and understand that no one’s life is perfect, but can still catch ourselves not believing it. You may compare yourself to other families in the Ward who appear to have the “perfect” family. The main problem with comparison is that it robs you of what you do have. You are so focused on what is lacking in your life that you miss what is right in front of you.
My Dad and I have a great relationship. We didn’t talk about religion or politics, but we talked about everything else. I found my Dad fascinating because he read so much and seemed to know everything when I was a kid. We have the same sense of humor and both get emotional during a sad movie. I inherited his organizational skills and not wanting to be wasteful, which has been so helpful as a Mom. I choose to see all the things he is, instead of what he isn’t.
I promise you that the snapshot of what you are seeing on Sunday or online, is not the whole story. Marriage may not be their issue, or maybe it is. It could be something else they are struggling with and they could be comparing themselves to you.
The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to those who have “active” spouses’ or to other women in general- write down 10 things that you want and already have. This puts you into an abundant mindset, instead of what is lacking. There is something powerful about wanting something and knowing you have it, compared to just listing what you are grateful for.
Here are mine:
- I want 4 healthy children and I have it.
- I want to live in a place where I feel safe and I have it.
- I want parents who are good people and trying their best and I have it.
- I want a husband who cracks me up and I have it.
- I want money to buy food for my family every week and I have it.
- I want to have the freedom to believe in my religion and I have it.
- I want to live in a country where a woman can achieve her dreams and I have it.
- I want a spouse who works hard for his family everyday and I have it.
- I want to live close to the ocean and I have it.
- I want a Best Friend who I can share everything with, her name is Monica. I have it.
What do you want and already have? And hey, no more comparing. Got it?