I’ve been guilty of it and I’m sure many of you have too. It’s the modern version of “keeping up with the Jones’s.” We look at a snapshot of someone’s life and assume they have it better than us…. or, a good old case of jealousy sneaks in. We think things like:
- Their husband probably pays more attention to them than mine.
- Their wife treats them better than mine does.
- She’s a better mom than I am.
- They have it easier than I do.
- Their kids are better behaved than mine.
- Their house is better than mine.
- Their relationship with God is better than mine.
- They are happier than I am.
Some of those things might be true, but dwelling on how you feel is a trap. It is nearly impossible to be happy and content when you compare your life to that of others. It’s a lose- lose situation If you measure your life against someone you consider lesser than yourself- it creates pride. If you compare your life with someone you deem better off- it creates discontentment.
I hope I don’t burst a bubble here…. But…. Did you know that most people only post pictures that paint themselves in a positive light? I can’t remember the last time I posted a picture with a caption, “Hey world- this is me losing control and screaming at my kids!” “Here’s another one of me being embarrassingly selfish, have a good night!” There’s obvious reasons I don’t post stuff like that … I have what is known as facebook “tact.” (We all know people who need a good dose of it!)
A lady once said to me, “I wish I had a husband like yours. He actually does stuff with you.” Then she referred to a picture of Aaron and I riding a tandem bike together. I encouraged her to choose healthier thoughts and gave her some ideas to try with her husband.
This is the picture that she was talking about.
First of all, this picture was taken as part of a photo shoot for our church. It was completely staged. Second, if the picture had a caption it would read,
“This is a picture captured during our second attempt at a photo shoot.
The first shoot (the day before) was a complete failure due to an epic fight about the photo shoot.
It was one of our biggest fights to this day.”
Beware of “Snapshot Syndrome.” Nobody’s life is perfect…. So don’t get so depressed when you realize yours isn’t either! Remember, you’re not the only person who has ever cried themselves to sleep….. and as my friend Jen Deweerdt says,
“The grass isn’t greener on the other side… it’s greenest where you water it!”