It can creep up on you without you even knowing it. Like a predator lingering behind the long grass, waiting for the ultimate moment. It’s powerful and destructive, with the potential to steel your joy and suck the life out of you. It can eat away at you, taking pieces of your life little by little until one day you realize it has consumed you. Your every thought, your every action, even your every word.
It’s name is Envy.
Comparison becomes the name of the game as you constantly hold your life up against others. You forget to look at the blueprint of your own life, instead holding it up to theirs, comparing it to THEIRS. The lines of their blueprint don’t match yours. Theirs have so many lines; yours seem to have so few. Their lines are neat and manicured and perfect. Yours are messy and uncertain.
You put your own life under the scrutiny of what’s considered normal: where you should be in 5 years, what your house should look like, what title should be engraved on office door, how much money you should have in the bank. And you try with everything you have inside you to be that person, to obtain that life. No matter what the cost.
The clothes in your wardrobe are not as cool or stylish. Your home, unlike theirs will never grace the covers of Home and Leisure magazine. Your body, no matter how hard you try will ever be as beautiful and as perfect. Your writing will never, no matter how big a dream, will ever be as good.
It becomes clear you will never be good enough.
These are the lies that poisonous venom of envy and comparison whisper to me late at night. When everyone is asleep and I lie in my bed I hear these voices telling me I will never have enough, be enough. These are the lies I find myself starting to believe.
I have begun to place value on things that don’t matter. All the real and truly beautiful things have been cast aside for the trivial things that seem to consume my every thought. The wanting more, the wondering if I will ever be good enough, the constant need to have more, be more, do more. These childlike doubts and tantrums become my norm.
Like with most things of this nature, it all eventually becomes too much and we are forced to make changes to our thinking. We are eventually, often in a single moment, brought back to reality, the reality of what truly matters. For some it’s a near death experience, for others it’s the birth of their first child or hearing the word mommy for the first time. It’s often these experiences that jolt us back to a beautiful reality and remind us of where our true happiness lies.
For me this moment occurred when my two year old thanked me for walking away from my computer to play with him. I have become so good at switching off to his needs, too preoccupied with pinning the perfect kitchens on Pinterest or trying to find ways to make more money to have more STUFF. I have become far too good at wanting to create the perfect life and not taking the moment to live it, to experience the joy right in front of me. My need to have it all has compromised my ability to be grateful for what I have.
My moment was when I realized my happiness became more important than my own child’s.
It’s there. It’s real. It can pounce on you at anytime. It’s vicious and destructive and doesn’t care about you. It has no interest in your dream; it will only drive you to insanity. It will take you down with it and while it has the power to teach you a lesson, Envy will never be your friend.
So decide today to leave it behind, to dust is off your hands and shake it clean off your shoes. Choose today to be happy with the blueprint of your own life and to live in a new kind of freedom. One that sees you thrive and believe that you are good enough! Choose life. Choose Gratitude.