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There is Room for Both

There is room for both, you know.

Room for you to feel good about yourself, your work, your family, etc. while still seeing other women's lives and acknowledging that their "things" are good too. There is room for both.

So often we feel good about something that is ours, until we see someone else's and perceive it as better. We go from thinking "this is awesome, I am proud of myself" then we look over at another person and say "never mind, mine is crap". But here is the thing, even if their thing is "better", it doesn't take away from the goodness of ours. There is room for both.

I am writing this from my own perspective, as I have struggled with envy and jealousy my whole life. I have truly hated feeling this way, and since I've come to recognize it for what it is, I can see it in women around me too. We ALL struggle with comparison at times. And comparison often leads to jealousy, the biggest, ugliest, green monster.

I began a journey to figure out why I was jealous of other people and I came to a huge realization: I wasn't actually jealous about the things other people had, but I was jealous about how I assumed those things things made them feel.

Basically, I don't actually want what they have, I want what they feel.

For example, I don't want my friends actual job because she is making good money, I want the feeling of accomplishment and success in knowing I am able to make a good living. I don't want to actually switch bodies with that beautiful woman, but I want to feel the confidence that I assume she does. I don't want to be in that person's marriage instead of my own, but I do want to feel the type of love that she appears to feel.

The thing is though- these are all assumptions. I am assuming these people feel successful, confident, happy, etc. when really I have no idea. I can't see behind the scenes, I have no clue what they really feel.

I often remind myself not to compare my back stage to someone else's front stage.

Further, even if I was completely spot on in my assumptions, I still don't have to feel jealous. Truly, it is a choice. Someone else's happiness, their success, their beauty, does not take away from what I have, or what you have. There is room for both, there is room for all of it.

What is it for you? What aspects of your life do you find yourself comparing to others? What do you find yourself envying?

Here are a few things that can happen when we compare:

1) We feel bad about ourselves (or we feel prideful, which will be destroyed as soon as someone who is "better" comes around, which they will).

2) We don't appreciate/we overlook the good things we have in our life.

3) We may hinder or damage our relationship with the person we feel envious of.

4) We could be ruining an opportunity to actually learn from someone who may be able to help us better ourselves!

So really, nothing good comes from this. Not at all.

So I encourage you, like I have been doing in my own life, to consider a few things:

1) When you begin to feel yourself comparing, actively go out of your way to encourage, uplift and even compliment that person for what you are seeing. So instead of sitting in my head thinking, ugh, she has a perfect marriage, I could actually say to her "Wow, it seems like you and your husband really work hard on your marriage and it shows!" I promise you the feeling of jealousy lessens when you actively step into the lives of those around you and cheer them on. It totally shifts your focus from you to others.

2) When you feel envious or jealous, think about why. Maybe it's not actually what that person has, but what you are assuming they feel. If you find that's true, remind yourself that you have no idea how they really feel. People put on masks to make things appear a certain way when really on the inside, they are feeling totally broken. Again, it doesn't make sense to compare your back stage (all your insecurities, emotions, and perceived failures) to someone's front stage (which is only what they show the world and usually void of authentic thoughts and emotion).

You will feel better, and you will feel more free if you stop comparing and allow yourself to say, this is where I'm at, and even if other's might do it better than me, it doesn't take away from any of the goodness in my life. Someone's beauty doesn't diminish yours, someone's success doesn't diminish yours, someone's purpose doesn't diminish yours, and someone's relationship doesn't diminish yours. It's not a competition and there isn't a winner.

There is room both- you and them.

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