I am currently listening to the book “Garden in the East: The Spiritual Life of the Body” written by Angela Doll Carlson. She won the Silver Medal winner of the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY). It is wonderful and I was able to get it on Audible!
She talks about how we tend to answer the question of whether or not we are “okay” by looking externally at the world around us and how truly dangerous this is. We set our “marks” or goals by what others are doing and accomplishing. I find this most dangerous in the realm of our online worlds. And for a long time I stopped reading blogs for that very reason. Everyone has a tendency blog about the best of their worlds. It used to be a rare thing to read a blog about someone’s “real” life. Women tend to take these comparisons with much more weight I think. Now we don’t just have blogs, although I think they are less about personal journaling than they used to be, but we also have social media. This makes the comparisons even more insidious.
In this book is where I found this quote:
My friends, this is the opposite of our aim! Our goal is to kindle joy, not be robbed of it! We need to let go of comparisons. God is our measure and He loves us all, no matter what. No matter where we live, how much schooling we’ve had, how much money we make, how clean our house is. He love you. He loves me. And if we’d open our eyes and see Jesus in every person we encounter, we’d kindle joy, and not have it snatched from our souls.
Let go of those thoughts that tell you check out how you are doing by looking at the externals. Measure how you are by your internals…your relationship with Christ.
2 thoughts on “Comparing”
When I read things about how people only put their best selves on their blogs and social media, I wonder if they are talking about me and thinking me somehow false. Certainly 99% of “my life” is not on my blog. I have read some blogs that are very “real,” on which the blogger posts every heartache that every child in the family is causing them, or lists a blow-by-blow account of what they consider their spiritual successes. But these are not encouraging to me, so I just don’t read them anymore.
It’s most uplifting to me to read those articles whose authors seem to understand what you wrote, and convey it humbly in their posts: “Days are hard and sometimes it downright is terrible. But there is always one little thing of beauty somewhere we can try to focus on, even in the midst of chaos and hurt. Some spark to go to to begin to warm our souls.”
When I was reading blogs a few years ago, it seemed that so many people were baking cakes and having a break in the afternoon where the children and the mother would have slice with tea. That seemed to me to be the most lovely tradition, and for a long time I had in the back of my mind that I must do it — heh heh… even though I had never been a cake-baker and had no family here to eat with me! But I’ve given up on that now. So wise 😉
Thank you, Susan! I appreciate your perspective of the younger-mother blog reader. I’m glad you are part of the Blogland!
Thank you so much, GretchenJoanna, for your encouraging words.