So you’ve just had the best day. You felt good, you looked good, you enjoyed your day out with a friend. So basically, you’re enjoying life. You’re content and you’re satisfied.
You’ve just walked into your house. Sat down. Reflected on your day. There’s this beautiful smile upon your face. You’re thinking ‘life is good.’ That’s when you get your phone out. You click on the Instagram app and for the first time in your busy day, you’re scrolling. Scrolling… scrolling… scrolling… All of a sudden you’re thinking, Josephine just had the best day out with her girl squad, Sophie just bought a house, Josh just got a promotion at Deloitte, Anna just got proposed too… and I’m just here feeling nothing more than stagnancy.
The more you scroll, the more you think about what you don’t have, what you want, how your plans haven’t been working out, how you’re not where you want to be. You’re comparing your friendship squad to Jo’s, you’re comparing your finances to Sophie, you’re comparing your career to Josh’s and comparing your relationship to Anna’s. In the space of 15 minutes, your smile has gone. You feel this level of inadequacy. Like you’re not enough and not doing enough. Now all you want to do is go to sleep, you’re not happy and you’re wondering when your life is going to get better, when your situation is going to turn around.
What you don’t know however is that Jo’s friends have been talking about her behind her back and undermining her. Sophie’s dad brought her that house. Josh is on the verge of suicide. And Anna posted an old picture with her bae and actually they’re not even talking right now.
Comparison is the enemy of progress and the thief of joy. Don’t allow the snippets you witness of other people’s lives effect your happiness. Just remember, unless you’re that persons best friend (and even then) you really have no idea of the ins and outs of their life. We all go through stuff. Yes the occasional person may sail through life (which I find hard to believe), but majority of us go through stuff.
There’s this principle in Phil 4:10-13 which I love. Paul (the writer) essentially writes that he’s been through the most. He’s been through terrible situations, he’s also had some good times, and from all of this he’s learnt character and most importantly learnt to be content whatever happens, whatever life throws at him. To me this is stupidly challenging.
‘How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.’
A few weeks ago my friend was waiting on something that was going to have a massive impact on his future career, and I remember asking him why he was so relaxed and not fretting. His response was that worrying wouldn’t change a thing. It was safe to say that my friend was content. From this I promised myself that the next time life tried to throw me around, I’d take charge of my emotions and ensure that I was content despite my circumstances. And that’s exactly what I’m doing right now. Is it easy? No… but it feels good.
I just want to encourage you to take life as it comes, to not becomes so focused on where you want to be that you forget to enjoy the here and now. Comparing yourself to other peoples ‘perfect’ lives will never make you feel good. So try to stay in your lane, focus on yourself, encourage yourself, remind yourself people only put out what they want you to see, social media is one big filter, never the full picture. Never allow comparison to steal your joy.
You are enough.