Have you ever spent what felt like forever getting ready for an evening out? You picked out the perfect outfit, bought the perfect pair of shoes, and spent extra time on your hair and makeup. When you walked out the door that night, you were feeling pretty good about yourself…that was until you got to the restaurant and one of your friend’s that you hadn’t seen in a while looked fantastic! She had lost weight, gotten a new haircut, and had a new energy about her. Instead of being happy for her, you started comparing every little thing about yourself with what she had.
Well, if you haven’t experienced this, you’re lucky, but I can tell you that I have experienced this more than once in my life. I could feel so great about myself until I started comparing myself to so and so. It didn’t even matter if I knew the person or not, I could go from feeling on top of the world to feeling like I needed to go home, lose 10 pounds, buy new makeup, and a new wardrobe. Maybe it wasn’t even a physical comparison, maybe a friend texted letting me know about a great new job that she landed and now my job felt trivial. I would start thinking, how do I get where she already is? What’s wrong with me?
These days, we don’t even need to leave the house to start feeling like this. We can open up one of the many social media feeds and start scrolling through photo after photo comparing ourselves with someone’s “highlight” reel. Pretty soon your good day can go down hill really fast. I find that moms especially feel this. It can be about physical looks (she’s only six months post-partum and is back to her pre-baby weight!), or it can be about how well dressed her kids are, or the craft that she got done with her toddler, or her perfectly clean house. Whatever it is, we start comparing and coming down on ourselves. But, you know what? As hard as we try, we’re never going to measure up to that girl on the social media feed, or the friend sitting across from you at dinner.
God made you specifically the way He wanted you. He didn’t want you to be like anyone else. He knew who and what you would look like while you were still in your mother’s womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made with all of the flaws (personality or physical) and in his eyes you are perfect and you are completely loved. It reminds me of the love a mother has for their child. Regardless of how the child may be acting they are always loved. We’re dealing with Owen’s terrible two’s. He’ll have the worst tantrum, but never do I end up loving him any less. He is perfect in my eyes, because he is my son.
So, why am I talking about this today? Well, friends, as we all sit down to make our New Year’s Resolutions this year, I wanted to put an emphasis on making it YOUR resolution. Not something that your friend or family member is striving for or wants to become, because you’ll never get there. Think of ways to make YOU better, or make you healthier, or make you HAPPY! And then go from there. The best comparison that we can make for ourselves is to reflect on where we were a year ago and see if we are in a better place now. If yes, you’re doing something right. If no, what needs to be done, so you are in a better place.
But, most of all, I wanted to encourage all of us to be gentle with ourselves. To stop holding ourselves to unrealistic expectations or to someone else’s best. Please remember you are made EXACTLY how you’re supposed to be. Is there room to get better? Always, but lets not kill ourselves trying to do so.
Blessings to you and your family,
Three items I’m grateful for:
- The motivation to become a better version of myself.
- Knowing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
- The ability to dream…