“Comparison is the thief of Joy”
Apparently, this quote was first said by Theodore Roosevelt, but for me, this comes straight from the mouth of My friend Ashleigh.
Ash is crazy intelligent, super funny, authentically genuine, and will always call you out if she thinks you’re exaggerating. (perhaps this is the Texan in her, but she’s been there to point out my tall tales on more than one occasion!) She’s a registered dietitian & nutrition practice owner, flower bed owner, and good friend. (She didn’t ask me to write about her, but seriously, go check out her stuff.)
She means the world to me which is why is why I listened when she said those words forever ago.
“Shelb, comparison is the thief of joy. It will kill your joy.” -Ash
Our friend’s voices matter, don’t they? Their input, feedback, likes, loves, and comments matter.
Is it possible to care too much about what our friends think of us?
to care too much about what they are doing with their lives?
I know last December, I certainly did.
Oddly, I kept hearing this creepy, hypercritical voice in my head.
- You’re not going anywhere in your career.
- You always said you were going to do this…Are you ever going to be brave and actually do it like that girl did?
- You’re making some physical progress in your appearance, but she’s already lost twenty pounds.
- Look at what they’re doing, you never do anything exciting.
These certainly weren’t my friends’ voices, but perhaps it was all these friends that triggered my doubts. Perhaps it was who I followed that kept bringing me face to face with my own insecurities.
My Venom Voice was that familiar feeling of toxic shame. That feeling that doesn’t just say you’ve messed up. Toxic shame says you’re not enough. Toxic shame doesn’t just say you made a mistake. Toxic shame says you are a mistake.
I love social media, and I love the good it can do. If you take social media to an extreme though, damage will be done. This is something we all intuitively know, and I was personally experiencing.
King Solomon said it best, “It is good to grasp the one, and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God avoids all extremes.”
That hypercritical venom voice was getting loud.
So loud I couldn’t hear the gentle whisper of the One who has always loved me. Not that he wasn’t talking, of course.
I just wasn’t listening. There were too many people I followed that were taking my time. I was allowing them to consume all my time. Letting the Venom in.
So I took a hiatus. 6 months. No Instagram. Now I stayed on facebook, but I completely got off Instagram.
I’d be lying to you if I said it was easy.
I missed people. I missed life events, funny videos, and great discounts. I felt cut off and shut out from my people.
THAT VOICE got quieter though. It’s not that anything happened magically overnight, but I will tell you this:
1 month in and I was spending less.
2 months in and I was reading more.
3 months in and I was more intentional with my small circle of friends.
4 months God’s voice was becoming more clear.
5 months in and I was feeling less disgruntled and less insecure.
6 months in and I’m more at peace with who I am and sure of God’s love for me.
Maybe you don’t need a 6 month break from social media. Maybe you don’t have deep insecurities, and you’re not online comparing yourself to everyone else. You’ve never felt venom in your veins. Maybe Instagram isn’t killing your joy.
And if that’s you, just know you’re not alone.
Consider a hiatus.
Get offline so you can Realign your heart with the creator of it.
Stop liking, loving, and haha-ing everyone’s else’s self, so you can start being your own self.
Disconnect from the social platform so you can engage in human form.
Our friend’s voices matter, but too often their voices adapt a sinister tone. But there is a remedy to the venom, and the cure is in the Word. The voice of the healer is always speaking into us, breathing new life, shaping, molding, and guiding us.
If only we seek a little more, and insta-less.