The Romagnolo Family

The Romagnolo Family

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Great Destroyer - Comparison

     Hello Friends!  Today I want to share something else that I've struggled with probably my whole life.  It's comparison.  God has been teaching me so much about myself over the past year.  I really struggled in this area last year.
     I started my fitness journey in January of 2015.  In January of 2016, I started my running journey.  I have been pretty open about both journeys from the beginning.  I started these journeys because other women were brave enough to put themselves out there on social media and share their journeys.  If they could do it, then so could I.  I didn't care if people mocked me for posting my workout videos.  If my journey could reach and inspire just ONE person, than it was worth it.  One of my now closest friends started following my journey.  She decided that if I could do it as a single mom, then she could too.  She began running not long after me.  Here is the kicker...my friend is WAY faster then me!  For a full year I constantly compared myself to her and even other runners.  It wasn't fair.  She started running because of me and she was faster than me.  What!?!  I had to continually give myself pep talks and bring myself back to reality.  This was all my crazy head playing with me too.  My friend is one of the most awesome people ever!  She cheers on every victory no matter how big or small.  She loves me the way that I am.  She takes the good AND bad.
     I knew that if I didn't get this comparing myself to her or other runners under control, it could lead my heart down the dark path of jealousy and bitterness.  Slowly, God has changed my heart and helped me see that I am who I am.  How fast I run doesn't define me or my character.  I felt even more insecure every time that I compared myself to others.  I've had to remind myself that we don't always see the big picture.  We just see a tiny spec of their life.  Remember my post from the other day about not having it all together? We only see the "highlights" on social media.
     I'm finding that I'm having to teach my girls this concept now.  My youngest was talking about one of her good friends at school and what a great voice that her friend has.  She wants to prove to her friend that she is a good singer too.  She was feeling bad because her friend sings better than her.  I'm trying to teach her that we all have different talents.  While her friend may have a pretty voice, I know that there is something else that Lyla is good at that her friend isn't.  My oldest is struggling with the fact that some of her friends at school seem to have more than we do.  I have to teach her that we all choose to spend our money on what is important to us.  I am working to pay some bills and save so that we can make memories at Disney.  Even though we don't have a ton of money, we are rich beyond reason.
     How do you conquer comparison?  Be grateful.  We may not have tons of materialistic things, but we have so much.  We are never in need.  What is important to you and what do you value in your life?  Everyone has different values.  For our family, technology is something that will be introduced and taught in stages.  This means that there are going to be a lot of times when my girls friends have phones, tablets, etc and they won't right away.  Family vacations are so important to us.  I would rather be super thrifty at home, never eat out, shop at the thrift store, etc. so that we can save for our road trips and trips to Disney.  Those will be memories that we will have forever.  Even this morning I was looking at pictures from our summer road trip and I couldn't help smiling.
     Another way to conquer comparison is to take the focus off of yourself.  Focus on others.  How can you encourage or even serve someone else?  When you turn your focus on others, your heart tends to soften and what was bothering you before seems to shrink a little.
     Last Christmas I went into a little bit of depression.  All of my friends were posting on social media in my Facebook group of all of the presents that they had gotten from their spouses and family for Christmas.  I didn't really open any big gifts for Christmas last year (although I am very grateful for the Disney Gift cards from my family).  Instead of my girls getting me a big gift, I put the money to our Christmas trip to Disney.  I still let comparison of "they got this" and "they have a husband" get to me.  That only sent me into a funk and made me bitter.  I was having a MAJOR pity party for one.  Well, it's not happening this year.  I'm still not planning on having the girls get me a gift because I'd rather pay down some bills, but I won't set myself up for failure.  What does that mean?  I'll probably stay off social media for the most part.  I'll focus on the time with my girls and doing fun activities.  I'll look for ways to encourage others.  Having a trip to Disney right after Christmas and getting to see some of my favorite people will also be a HUGE encouragement to me.  😃
     I love this quote from Chrystal Hurst Evans book, "She's Still There":  "Run YOUR race (emphasis mine).  Choose freedom by celebrating your journey, your pace, your finish line.  Don't compare.  Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, but never give up."
     Everyone's journey is different.  You do YOU!!!  Don't let comparison be the great destroyer of your dreams, or of you.  You are so valuable and loved.  Buckle down and focus on what you need to do for your life, dreams, etc.  Make a plan, get accountability and put it into action.  Find teammates that will cheer you on through the journey.  My friend that I spoke of earlier is one of my BIGGEST cheerleaders.  Oh and she's about to run a marathon which is something that I have absolutely NO desire to do!  I just love her so much!  Find your tribe.  Finish strong!

You are loved!

Ann

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