Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Comparisons- good or bad...

Theodore Roosevelt is attributed to the following quote: "Comparison is the thief of joy." When I started looking at pins on pinterest about comparison I kept coming up with the quote as well as this take on it.



While it's so true- that when we compare ourselves to others- we are stealing our joy because we often see things in others that cause us to talk negative about ourselves, look down on ourselves, and even worse- lead us to say things about others that shouldn't be said. 

I have been guilty of this myself- especially recently.  Too often, I look at my runner friends who are scoring huge PR's (personal records for the uninitiated), lean and trim runner bodies, and just an all around confidence that I don't seem to have.    But, it doesn't just stop at my runner friends- it also spills over into the teacher side of things.  I'm going to be honest- nothing bugs me more than when people gloat about their scores- it may be a subtle thing- but it just really bothers me.  I may not be the best, or strongest teacher in the world, but I give it my best- day in and day out- so to be looked down upon by someone who might have scored a "5" causes a lot of angst in my heart.  Especially, when by state standards I am a "rock solid" teacher at a 3- I am meeting my expectations and in some cases am above.  I keep coming back to this pin I saw

Source: google.com via Tami on Pinterest


The mirror that's where I need to look- but unfortunately there's one more place for comparison- and that's society.  It's sometimes hard to accept that I am built the way I am when I am surrounded by images- both of celebrities and "real" people who are considered "pretty" by society's standards- because I am not- I know this- and I accept this but it doesn't make it any easier.  My blog friend Abby wrote this post that really opened my eyes and showed me that even they "need" (not really but you know what I mean) help to look "good".  The following verse has been my source of comfort these last few weeks:


I know this post is long and I have two more things to share- one is another pin that I found tonight that is PERFECT and the other is a song that kind of led to this post.



and the song

7 comments:

Flaming June said...

this is so true - and something I have been fighting for some time. Someone once told me - "You can't have what someone else has unless you are also willing to live their life. That really made me think. I may be jealous of my friend's huge fancy house, or incredible running body, but I do not want to have her family or job or past. I love the one God gave to me! So, now I stop and make myself realize that it is a package deal, and this has helped quite a bit. Not perfect, of course, since I still get a case of the "I wish" and "Why can't I"s every once in a while - but I'm working on it :)

Bill (cycleguy) said...

Another quote for you: "Comparisons are odious." Read that once in a Chuck Swindoll book. You are not alone in your battle of comparisons. Pastors do it also. Only when I realized I needed to only be the man God wanted me to be did I learn to become content with my "lot" in life. I now relish serving in a small town/city and don't see it as a punishment. You know how I feel about you so I will leave that unsaid, except "I love you for who you are and there is no need to compare yourself to someone else."

Shannon said...

Excellent post! I too used to struggle with comparison - because I didn't like very much about myself. And while it took awhile, I finally am comfortable with who I am and what I have (and what I don't have) SPA <33 -Shannon

P.J. Murphy said...

This is something my wife and I have to constantly remind ourselves. And it's not just in the world of running and fitness. People will always have things like bigger houses and more money than us, but at the end of the day we're really happy where we are in life (even though we're always moving to get better!)

As far as running is concerned, it's such a personal journey. One of my friends just posted something about a PR in a half marathon that is almost 10 minutes faster than my PR. Another friend just announced that he's doing a 100 mile race later this summer. While I think these are things I could aspire to, I'm not going to let their success define mine.

I'm happy for them, but in the end, I'm also happy for the progress I've made as a runner and, to me at least, that's what it's all about.

Caitlin H said...

This is something I really really really struggle with too, love. It's so hard to not compare myself to friends who are on "the perfect career path" (or at least one they say they love) and worry that what I'm doing isn't nearly enough. It's hard to look at other runners that I'm friends with and wonder if my mileage is enough or if I'll ever be able to go as fast as them. And it spills over into every little part of life if I let it...how I look, feel, what I do, etc...and it's not worth it. I get so unhappy if I focus on the comparisons and always come up short to EVERYONE else...which I know isn't true. I think that last picture quote you posted says it all. I LOVE that and haven't seen it before...thank you for sharing that AND for giving me this reminder :)

Abby said...

It can be so hard when how we feel about ourselves and how society looks at us are so different. Quite the battle. Thank you so much for sharing your own struggle as I know so many of us go through this.

Caitlin Hendee said...

Great post. I was truly touched.