A wise fella' named Theodore Roosevelt once said: Comparison is the thief of joy. How right he is...
I used to be somewhat of a grouch about social media. However, since I started this blog a year and a half ago, I've had to become a lot more active on it. That's the nature of a having a blog. You use social media as a free way to spread the word about your site. I've come to realize that social media is actually kind of fun and a nice way to keep in touch with people you care about. I've also realized that it can be a lightning fast downward spiral of comparison if you're not careful. That's a problem. I've realized this is actually quite an epidemic, and I don't like it.
I've heard my own friends touch on this, as well as several books I've read recently. Instagram, for all of the fun it is, seems to be the worst for this. I love Instagram. I do. But when it started it was a place for me to post pictures of my cats. That's all I did. Maybe the occasional dog pic. Instagram is now a steady stream of perfect photos, all centered around likes. Wait, what? Are we really getting our validation from likes on Instagram?
Steven Furtick says this about it:
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.
How true that is. We see someone's posts about their awesome job, vacation, family, spouse, or new home and the comparison thief sneaks right on in. If we (falsely) assume their entire existence is like this, and then we look around at our own messy home covered in dog hair, our imperfect job, or realize we've been walking around with chocolate on our face half the day, then our life is simply never going to measure up.
I'm a lot more conscious of all that now. And the absolute last thing I want my blog or social media posts to do is to contribute to that or make it seem like my life is perfect. It's not. BUT my life is beautiful. I love it and I'm grateful for it. I'm sitting here typing in my sun room, and there is dog hair everywhere, mud in my entryway, mounds –no, mountains!!– of laundry to do, our puppy (Rita) keeps trying to climb on my lap, my phone is ringing off the hook, I didn't get to work out today, I still have a million things to do, and it's already 6:44 pm. So I flip the script. I'm thankful to have a roof over my head and a sun room that I love. I'm thankful for dogs that I adore who shed hair everywhere and a vacuum that will eventually clean it up. I'm grateful for mud in the entryway because that means we just got rain on our farm. I'm thankful for laundry that I can do in a washing machine, Rita just for being such a lovable puppy, friends and family who care enough about me to call me, and a day off to recover from exercising. (That last one is a little flimsy, but we'll go with it.)
But I digress, so let's get back to my point. Let's break down the photo I've posted here of me doing a handstand in a beautiful field, with a gorgeous sunset. Looks great, right? How about this: in reality, I held the handstand for exactly 1 second only, both of my cats kept running through the video, an 18 wheeler drove by on the highway and honked at me, I fell on some hidden briars, got attacked by fire ants, and my alignment isn't really even that good. And only one of those things is an embellishment.
Nothing is as rosy as it seems, and nobody has it all figured out.
Comparison can make you feel inadequate, jealous, and lonely. But, maybe the saddest part is that it can make you miss out on being grateful for your own life, blessings and victories. Stop comparing and start thanking. Practicing gratitude is one of THE most meaningful habits I ever started. It's called practicing gratitude for a reason. You have to give it a little effort, but it's well worth it. It will change your life.
Love & Light.
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Hi, I'm Blake. I love adventure, cooking, costume parties, wine, yoga, and reading...in that order. Follow my blog for yoga stuff, fitness tips, & healthy recipes...
• The Meaning of Namaste
• Confessions of a Self Care Hypocrite
• Living In The Age Of Social Media: Swapping Comparison for Gratitude
• My Exercise Manifesto
• 4 Exercise Hacks To Get YOU Moving