Crippling Comparison.

We need to stop comparing ourselves to other people. If we're being honest with ourselves, most if not all of us have asked ourselves why we aren't where we thought we'd be. Why don't I have this relationship, this amount of money, this status, this peace in my life. Doubt begins to creep in, and we look at other people who are seemingly doing better than we are. We have an idea of where we want to be, and if we don't see it in our lives, we see it in the lives of others. Now, it's okay to look up to others, and look to others for motivation and inspiration. However, if that look becomes too long of a stare, it becomes a snare.

Jealousy and envy are used interchangeably often, but they are not the same. Many of us are operating in jealousy and don't even realize it. I know I didn't. We also think jealousy is only for relationships. See, I went on Google and looked to see what jealousy really is in its entirety. On multiple psychology and dictionary sites, you will see that what we primarily think of jealousy (bitterness or anger over someone or something) is actually only a small corner of what it is. Also, what many of us think of as jealousy is actually envy: when you want something someone else has to the point that you hate that person.

Jealousy in its simpler form is just seeing someone else flourish and insecurely wondering why we haven't arrived yet. This includes people we know personally or fantasizing over the lives of celebrities. See, we don't actually want who or what they have, we're just fearful that it might not happen for us. We can be genuinely happy for other people, celebrate with them and not have any animosity towards them, but still be jealous. This information had me shook. I thought jealousy was envy, and it is not.

Jealousy is when we don't trust the process. It's when we don't have patience. It's when we feel inadequate after comparing ourselves to someone else or society. We see our friends, classmates, coworkers, neighbors and other people move on to next levels and we think we haven't gotten anywhere. You may even deal with it in your family. You may even have family members say "why can't you be..." or "why can't you be more like..." and it gets ingrained in your brain. Listen, you are you. You are unique. Be you.

Comparison quickly turns into unhealthy competition. Have you ever had someone who thought they were in competition with you, but they really weren't because you didn't care? They literally want your life. That's envy operating in them.

How do you know the difference between when you're innocently looking to or up to someone, and falling into comparison? It's a matter of the heart. Pay attention to where your heart is when your thoughts and feelings begin to race.

Trust the process. Love yourself. Realize anything of substance and value takes time. Most people who get something fast lose it faster. Character has to be built up in us. Character is the foundation that holds success in place.

Also, we must ask ourselves are we stewarding our time well? Are we reaching out to make the right connections? Are we utilizing our gifts and talents? Are we treating people right?

There's already a fountain of wealth on the inside of you. Bring it out.

Remember that people who compare themselves to you don't know your story or what you've been through. Likewise, you don't know what the people you look at have been through to get to where they are. Truly successful and satisfied people of substance have been through a lot. Successful people with no substance are dead inside, but so many people think they want their life. I don't. They're dying inside. People who can't see that but want what they want are dead inside too.

A truly meaningful life consists of wholeness.