When I was in school we had to write themes, essays or papers that were often called compare and contrast. Did you do that too? I remember thinking they were difficult and not my favorite thing. Teacher would make the announcement and a collective groan would emit from all the students. Memories.
I have found myself doing a really unhealthy and downright stupid thing lately. Comparison. I believe it may be part of the human condition. I also believe we can stop doing it if we are aware of these thinking patterns.
Have you ever done this? I made a quilt that was pattern in a book. I really bought the book because I was a huge fan of the long arm quilter who quilted in it! I made the quilt and have been studying the stitching picture close ups for nearly a year. I have spent hours practicing her stitch patterns. I haven’t quilted my version of the quilt because … I can’t quilt those tiny stitches and designs in a 6 inch block currently. I may never be able to do that. I stopped the finishing process before I even started it.
I was studying people’s Instagram feeds to see why some have such large followings. OK stop right there… first I was comparing followings, collective groan please…. and I wanted to see what WOW factors that I could glean as take aways to the success of their IG account. Hmmmm. Comparing my pictures and work to theirs. Yikes, and double yikes. I felt like my feed doesn’t measure up to “the standard” what ever that really is today. And that I didn’t have enough influence to have a 10g following. Insert sad trombone wha, wha , wha … here.
Which all leads me to looking at my videos and that is a whole essay on being self critical about my age, appearce and why my really bad tooth that will be fixed in early 2018 has cause me a lisp….. I also have a slight droop to the right side of my face from past infections and the wrinkles, bags under my eyes , weight, inability to wear stage make up due to allergies etc … see the list could go on and on and on …. I compare myself others and become insecure.
So this month, I decided to be thankful. Listen to my last podcast if you want to hear about my December of meditative thankfulness. I am happy to be here on this planet because I have survived a few pretty nasty illnesses in my life and continue to work on managing disease. I am happy I have the ability to blog and do social media. I didn’t have the equipment in the past to do it. I am thankful for creativity and quilting.
See, I have some awesome things happening. I have some fabulous materials and items to create with. I have met some wonderful people along the journey and I have fantastic family that support me. I have had time to teach others about quilting along the way. What else is there to compare, because that is most important to me…. the ability to do something creative , the people and love along the way!
So whenever you find your self in the pattern I describe above , just stop yourself in your tracks. It helps me to immediately think about what I do have that I am so thankful for and if I can go look at it or the person , I do! I change the pattern of thought and then say to myself….. I am Vicki and my journey is unique to me. I am not anyone else and our journey will not be the same. I also try to stop studying and analyzing things. I try to just enjoy it unless I am trying to learn a specific task. I also find taking care of myself helps, too.
Embrace your own journey and then enjoy those that choose to share theirs online!
I tend to find myself comparing too. It always ends up as a bit of a pity party, which is proof that ‘comparison is the thief of joy’.
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Lisa, it us so True! And when I celebrate what everyone’s journey as well as my own … it makes it all that much sweeter
What a wonderful realization & journey you are on. Wise words for us all – thank you! One way I use to stay on track is to look for-feel-and share joy. If you enjoy what you are doing, others will feel your joy!
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I like the field and shared Joy model, I am going to adopt this myself! Thanks for commenting!
It’s so hard not to compare ourselves to others, but is so silly to do, because we are all different and special in our own way. Thanks for the reminder!
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Thanks for commenting! Yes I need reminders from time to time that I need to stop and go at my own pace on my unique path. Hopefully others will be encourage to follow their own path as well!