The time when the comparing bug bit me


Every so often, I get reader comments or email that sound something like this, "I love your blog, but I hate it. I just can't read it any more. You have a better [husband, house, child, job, not job, town, health] than me. I read your blog and it makes me feel bad about myself and my life." That last one gets me every time. Health? Really?

At first, those comments made me feel guilty and I worked to not make anyone feel bad when I wrote about...well, anything, because it turns out everything can be a trigger for somebody. Then, I recognized a couple of things. Try as we may to explain (great explanation here), some folks don't understand that blogging is a snapshot. I document what I want to remember. Sometimes, I do want to remember the bad, particularly if I've slogged through something and survived. I want to give glory to God for the grace of survival. I want to go back and read it and see how I grew and reassure myself that I can survive. And grow. There are plenty of those stories here.

Mostly, though, I want to remember the good. I want to remind myself that this life is good. I want to take the sticky and the messy and the bits and the pieces and make sense of it all for me. It's in the process of writing and photographing that I bring myself back to center and bring God's gifts into focus. Then, it's only natural to want to share. Gosh, I hate it when my good makes someone else feel bad. Except really, I know that it isn't my good that makes her feel bad, its something within her that needs healing.

Occasionally, the wounded part of me reacts similarly. I know that when I read other places, comparing and competing can lead to complaining. It happens. It happens to all of us. (Seriously, if you've never compared yourself to another woman and felt yourself lacking, please correct me in the comments. I'd love to hear your story.) Mostly, I have my own strategies for not falling into that trap. It doesn't happen very often. I know better now. I avoid certain places particularly when I'm tired or discouraged or hormonal. But every once in awhile, the compare-monster rears its ugly head and I'm just as vulnerable as the next girl. It happened just last week. Read about it here.