Guest Post by: Kristin Sterk of Only By Grace
We all do it, whether we realize it or not. We have all, at some point, in some way, wished our lives looked like someone else’s.
That is what I like to call:
Have you ever read a post on Facebook, a blog, saw pictures on Instagram, or read a book or magazine, and wished your life looked like that person’s?
I think we can all agree that we have done that a time or two. I see pictures of a vacation someone went on and wish I was there. I look through a magazine and dream about how I would design my own house and replicate the pictures. I see the ideal wardrobe on Pinterest and wished mine looked the same. I look at how someone parents and think that is the “right way.”
Whatever it may be, it is an easy trap to fall into. The trap of life envy.
A while back I was at a MOPS meeting (so thankful for this group by the way) and the speaker said something that has stuck with me ever since: We know 100% about ourself and maybe 10% about someone else. Yet we compare the 100% of ourselves, to the 10% we know about someone else.
I don’t know about you but I do it all the time. I see how someone is living and think “oh, what a perfect life” when really, I do not know them at all. Is the 10% we know of someone’s life, really the “perfect” life that we see or just what is portrayed? Do we really want their life?
What we forget is that they too, have struggles. They too, have an imperfect life. I am actually thankful for the difficult times because it has made me into the person I am today. Would those things cause someone to have life envy? Probably not. All I pray is that when people look at my life, they see Christ. I don’t want others to wish they had what we had – what I want them to wish for is the same Christ who saved me.
When it comes to envying and comparing lives, there are a few ways to combat the lure of life envy:
Be careful with social media.
Why do you look at someone’s Facebook page? Because you want to live vicariously through their life for a few moments? Because you wish you had the same hairstyle or looks they do? Always ask yourself WHY you are looking at something and make sure it is out of care, not comparison.
Have an attitude of gratitude.
When you take a deep look at your life, you will find yourself being thankful for the life you live; despite how difficult it may be. Being grateful for all the things you have been blessed with, helps you realize that YOUR life is worth living; not someone else’s.
Keep a positive outlook.
It goes without saying that life is not always a yellow brick road. Yet when we keep a positive perspective, realizing there are seasons of life, it makes it a whole lot easier to live. When you realize that those tough times WILL pass, you will not envy someone else’s life, knowing they too, struggle.
Be careful what you invest your time in.
If you are constantly browsing the internet, Pinterest, stores, you name it, trying to find the “right thing” to make you happy, you will not find it. Those instant feelings of happiness will fade. You may spend countless minutes and hours, perusing through magazines, trying to create this “perfect” life, but that perfect life will not happen, no matter how much time and money you invest in it. Happiness cannot be found permanently in material things. Invest in the eternal – there you will find true joy.
Keep the faith.
This is the biggest one for me. Realizing that my life is not my own, but that I belong to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. Realizing that the life He gave me, is for me to be a steward over and to be thankful for. You may not realize how God is using you to advance His Kingdom. Even when you feel you have lost your purpose, keep the faith, my friend, keep the faith.
I am NOT life-envy free. It is something I am constantly working on and just like every area of the heart, it is a work in progress. The times when I feel the most down about myself or envy someone else’s life, is when I turn my focus from Christ to the things of this world. The only life I should be trying to live up to is that of our Creator – the One who created us in HIS image and no one else’s!
How do you combat Life Envy?
My name is Kristin and I blog over at Only By Grace. I am a wife and semi-stay-at-home mom to one, and I love to share glimpses into our real and not-so-perfect life through my blog. When I am not busy blogging, I enjoy living life to the fullest with my husband and daughter, but also making and baking, organizing, and simple living. You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram!