My morning ritual is pretty much the same when I’m home, the only thing that will vary is whether or not the bed gets made. I wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, get dressed, and make coffee. Once the coffee is finished, depending on the weather, I will either sit on the couch or my balcony and catch up on what happened overnight. This morning was no different, except I didn’t get far into Facebook when a dear friend’s status update flashed on my screen; “Comparison is the thief of all happiness #gospel #doyou #themaskyoulivein”. It instantly got my wheels turning before I even finished my cup of coffee.
My friend is an amazing singer/songwriter, and I’m not sure if this phrase is the basis of a song or not, but as I sat on my balcony this morning and watched all the people going to work, I thought to myself I was so guilty of this phase. If you read my blog or if you know me personally, you know I have some major body image issues, I’m working on them, but it is a daily battle. I have spent a lifetime of comparing myself to friends, family, strangers and finally at 49 I had enough.
Comparison is the thief of all happiness. Because of comparison I never felt pretty enough, skinny enough, funny enough and because I spent all those years comparing myself to people who I thought were beautiful, funny and thin, I had no idea I was stealing from myself years of confidence and security. I look at pictures of the younger me, and I see an entirely different person. I see a beautiful human, she was smart, she was fun, she was funny, but she was afraid. When I was younger, I didn’t see what the older version of me saw; I was scared to be myself because I didn’t think I was any of those things.
Comparison is the thief of all happiness. When you spend years comparing yourself to other people, you never feel good enough; you never feel like you deserve anything, and you will always settle for the crumbs from the table of the people you are comparing yourself to.
Comparison is the thief of all happiness. Comparison made me settle in life instead of being the true me. Because I settled, I ended up being in a long term relationship with a married man. I never felt confident enough to realize I deserved more. It took an amazingly strong confident man to force me into realizing I deserved more and I now get to experience the feeling of love and acceptance every day.
Comparison is the thief of all happiness. Comparison stops me from wearing things I think are beautiful or comfortable or colorful. I always feel to fat or too old so instead, I wear a lot of black things that aren’t sleeveless, and I’m always hot and grumpy. That is until this weekend when I didn’t care anymore. I wore, out in public, a sleeveless shirt. It was a huge step for me, and I was comfortable and most importantly I was happy.
Comparison is the thief of all happiness. I started going grey when I was 24 years old. I come from a family that goes grey early, and they all look beautiful with their natural grey hair. However, because of my lifetime of comparison, I started coloring my hair at 24 because all the 24-year-olds around me had long beautiful brown or blonde hair. I stopped coloring my hair last year, and it was the most freeing thing I have ever done.
As I near my fifties and leave my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s behind I am taking control of my happiness. It happened practically overnight that the word Confidence replaced the word Comparison, and I have surrounded myself with people who confirm my feelings. I am a beautiful 49-year-old woman, I am curvy, I have short, grey hair, I have a nontraditional job and most of all I am happy.
My point is this, once you stop comparing you gain your confidence back which gets you your happiness back. So ditch #themaskyoulivein and #doyou. You are beautiful, you are smart, you are funny. There is only one of you and it’s perfect.