How often have you gone on social media and wished you had someone else’s “perfect life?” Their perfect family, their perfect marriage, their perfect house. As you scroll, you notice how someone just bought a house. How someone just had a child. How someone just got promoted in a job where they could easily be making six figures. And you are sitting in a one bedroom apartment, working 40 hours a week still not being able to afford a house or have a child because you are waiting for just the right time. A time when you are settled. A time when you are making enough money so that you can live comfortably. A time when your life is as perfect as theirs. I struggled with this and sometimes still do. I found myself wishing instead of actually doing anything to move forward. Longing, if you will, for their life, but not doing anything to work harder on my own. Not realizing that my dreams would take time and hard work to become a reality. I needed to take that to heart and truly understand what that meant.
Things don’t happen automatically, there usually is work involved. Our thought process can sometimes be, “If it hasn’t happened yet, it never will”. We need to take that word out of our vocabulary. That comparison can be the death of your self esteem because you start to doubt yourself. You doubt if your dreams will ever become a reality. You doubt if the life your “perfect” friends are living, could be your future someday. Here is my question to you. What makes their life any more perfect than yours?
Seeing someone else where you want to be is hard. It is hard to not compare yourself and where you are in life to someone who you think is more accomplished and got this whole life thing figured out more than you. I was that person. Sometimes, I still find myself thinking “I wish that was me” or “why isn’t that me yet.” I realized that when I think those thoughts, I lose the love for myself. My self esteem takes a nose dive, because I am placing my worth into the hands of things that should not have it. I am focused way more on the lives of others instead of living my own. My focus is on where I want to be, but not on the steps I am taking to make that happen. Which is why taking a break from any type of social media can be an amazing thing. As you mentally and emotionally take a step back from what the world is trying to project onto you, you can fully see what God has prepared for you.
When we compare ourselves to the lives of others, it takes away from our own personal journey, the journey God has set before us. It makes us long for things and view our lives as inadequate compared to someone else. Their current situation might be your soon-to-be reality, but God might be saying “not yet.” That is something I have had to really realize, understand, and take to heart that everything happens in His timing, not ours. He knows the desires of our hearts. Our journey to get there probably will look very different than the person who already has everything that we want at that moment.
So, I want to encourage you all to love the journey you are on. Just because you are in an apartment now, doesn’t mean that next year you won’t be putting a down payment on a house. Just because you are working a job right now that you can’t imagine being at for much longer, doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have something lined up for you that’s just around the corner. If you tune into His plan and His heart for you, instead of comparing yourself to the lives of others, you are able to choose joy throughout the waiting period. During that time, work hard, don’t give up, and don’t lose hope that your dreams can be fulfilled if you only trust that the Lord does everything in His timing.
Remember, just because your goals have not happened yet, does not mean you should stop doing everything you can to achieve them. The moment we stop comparing ourselves to other people, is the moment we fall in love with ourselves again, and the journey we are on. Keep loving, keep laughing, keep living. You never know what is just around the corner.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18