Don’t Fall into the (Comparison) Trap!

I recently opened an Instagram account as a different way to connect with people interested in the blog and/or its topics. After reading something I was sent, I was browsing through the feed and was simply amazed by the homes of a couple of users; they were magazine worthy. What kinda got me was that they are around my age or younger. I thought at first that maybe it was their parents home, but nope, that’s their own place.

You guys don’t know this about me, but I have been dreaming of redoing our home decor. Decorating is something fun to do, but for me, it is more about how it makes our family feel and what comfort it provides us. In our space, there are things that I like and many that are just patchwork. I have tried to purchase a few things by squeezing our budget and unfortunately, it has left us in discontent. I am learning about my style, tastes, and needs, as well as reading a few books about it. My husband and I agreed to save to make the place look like we really want it to.

So you can imagine that the next thing that happened was that the green envy monster started tapping me on the shoulder, telling me how it isn’t fair that those people live that way and that it was probably their parent’s money that made it happen. Yet, my friend contentment came and popped that monster right on the head (in an elegant, calm manner). It whispered, “Yes, their homes are gorgeous and you have no clue how they made it happen, but you have your own home too, and it is more than you ever needed.”

This is the comparison hole, where jealousy, envy, undermining and forgetfulness live.
Photo by Magne Træland on Unsplash

NEED. That was the word that calmed me down. On paper, I want loads and loads of things. The list is never ending. When I get that one thing, I find this other thing that looks super interesting. However, these times have helped me see that I keep searching for things that I already have. It’s been a while that I have been working on giving more value to what I have on hand or anything that comes in. It has worked as a method to decrease my love for things. For our house, my husband and I want more of the things that will make us feel more comfortable and at home. We want fluidity in all our rooms, and simple decor that is highly enjoyable and easy to keep clean. We want what the idea of coziness represents.

My list is long because I don’t feel that I am where I want to be with our home, but it is not as long as it could have been, because I am not looking for things for the sake of them or for a look that others might admire. I am looking for pleasure for my family, and that is a very small public to please. We are living for us and looking to enhance our current life.

What I really saw in those pictures was that they have enjoyment in areas of their lives that I might not have. Yet a picture-worthy living space is not the end-all be-all. Comparison will trick you into forgetting your purpose and how much you already have accomplished. Getting to where we are is a matter of celebration to us. It has been the result of determination and sacrifice. How can I trash that? We have enough. Going back to basics shows us that we are already more than covered. It isn’t as fancy or pretty, it isn’t what we want it to look like, but it has value and represents work and blessings. If I have what I need, everything else is extra.

I felt calm after focusing on what is truly important. Matching decor, a brand new car, or whatever it is that your neighbor has, has its value, but it is in no ways higher than you having what you need. Don’t let yourself be pulled away by the green and never-satisfied monster of envy, who will trash all your accomplishments because they are never enough. Get closer to contentment by saying thank you to what is already in your life. Recognize and honor how far you have come, and remember that happiness doesn’t come from things.

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