You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Live the Life You Love.” Maybe you’ve seen it penned on cute coffee mugs, t-shirts or magnets. Maybe it’s lighting up your newsfeed with inspirational photos. And maybe, dear friend, you are going through a tough season. So when you see that sentiment, you may honestly think something along the lines of: “Live the Life You Love….yeah…well, that’s great for a coffee mug (and maybe the person who buys it) but I’m having a hard time seeing God at work right now. Good for the sweet momma who’s loving her life, but I’m still coming home from work each day and fighting with my husband…dealing with a troubled teenager…being bullied at school…dealing with financial troubles…haven’t been able to get pregnant…was looked over (again) for a job promotion…aching with the loneliness of an empty house…and…”…you fill in the rest.
I’d like to change that phrase up a little and today, talk about
How to Love the Life You Live.
A subtle change, but one that focuses on loving your life, despite your circumstances.
Ladies, I want to talk to you about something I think women of all ages deal with, and that is COMPARISON. And I want you to know that comparison is the enemy of contentment. Pastor Steven Furtick, a pastor and author from North Caroline puts it this way, “The reason a lot of us deal with insecurity is because we are comparing our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
Think about that for a moment. You’ve probably seen an end of the season highlight reel at an awards banquet or sports ceremony, and it does show all kinds of smiling faces, adversity that has been overcome, and you leave with a feeling of joy and accomplishment! BUT what those slide shows don’t show is the blood, sweat and tears. The sprained ankles, the games the team lost, the fight that broke out between the coach and the referee. The look on the kicker’s face who missed what could have been the winning point. The behind the scenes stuff.
Even Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram can give us a kind of envy for other people’s lives. We see sweet family photos, where everyone is smiling and there’s a beautiful filter surrounding it that seems almost magical. And we get envious. What we probably don’t know is that right after that family photo, there was a meltdown from the two-year-old when he pitched such a fit that he threw himself on the ground and busted a lip, crying all the way home while the parents fought in the front seat. But we don’t see that in their sweet family photo. Right?
Now, am I saying you shouldn’t celebrate your sweet moments on social media? Absolutely not. If you enjoy doing that, like I do, then by all means, capture those moments as you celebrate your beautiful life. Social media can be a virtual scrapbook. But I don’t think you should unjustly compare yourself against others. You never really know the back story. If social media causes you to become discontent, consider taking a break from it for awhile…whether it be for a week, a month, on the weekends, or limiting your time there. You might be amazed at how much happier you are focusing on what’s going on in your world instead of imagining what it’s like for others.
Because comparison is the enemy of content.
Part 2 of this series can be found here.