When God created the world and everything in it, He could have decided to make everything black and white. he could have eliminated the sense of smell. He could have made every individual identical in shape and size. he could have made everyone with the same level of intellect and abilities. But He did not. He chose to put the concept of comparison out there front and center, and He knew that it would cause us trouble. But as is so often the case with God, He does this type of thing to grow us, not to cause us anguish and drama.
Why does Comparison lure me into its grip so often. I feel like it is a pride issue for me, and a reverse pride issue, no less. You know that reverse pride thing, where we spend so much talk and energy and brain power thinking about and talking about all our negative qualities that we turn it into a prideful attitude about how bad we are.
I spent a few days trying to notice all the ways that comparison occurred in my thinking:
I parked so much straighter than the cars on both sides of me at the grocery store.
My cart contained much healthier food than the people around me in the check out line.
I would never have allowed my kids to act like that.
I am the fattest person I see right now.
Why don’t my social media pages get as many likes and followers as theirs?
It is never ending.
So today I woke up with an idea for the opposite concentration. I want to make concerted efforts to avoid comparison. And this morning I opened a study I am doing to the current page and read the title: The Comparison Trap. Thanks so much to Hannah Brencher and her study, First Be A Follower.
“Comparison is the Thief of Joy” is a now famous quote from C.S. Lewis. Our joy cannot ride the waves of our up and down self-worth quotient, as we feel better then worse about ourselves as we live our day. Joy will just choose to jump ship. Once joy is gone, there is plenty of room for all the negative qualities that comparison teams up with: envy, jealousy, discontent, judging.
And I am not a very nice person once I allow all those negative things to rule my personality.
Comparison happens most often for me in the physical world; how I appear. I am fat. I hate my super thin hair. I do not have stylish clothes nor do I have the money to change that. I don’t wear make-up, as it is something that I don’t see as necessary when I look as bad as I do. Comparison might make me say, “I need to work harder to change ALL THESE THINGS so I am not so low on the socially acceptable status poll. But instead, that negative pride rears its ugly head and every ounce of caring I have dissolves into nothingness.
I avoid mirrors at all cost. What you can’t see can’t hurt you, right?? WRONG. Then I just suppose how it is.
Here’s the thing, though, I have a great personality. I love people. I am helpful and kind. I go out of my way to do nice things for others. So honestly the people who are closest to me aren’t negative. Just me. But that comes with its own set of issues.We have to care enough to be properly negative to those we love. I needed someone who cared years ago to tell me that I was going to regret allowing myself to put on weight. I needed someone to encourage me toward a greater self-worth.
But that is a hard thing to expect from people. And it is a hard thing to do, as well, for others. I try to be this way for my children, but there is a super fine line there that I never what to cross over. LOVE MUST WIN OUT, and if your actions are not perceived as loving, you just have to quit.
This is how comparison can be tamed. Put yourselves in the other person’s shoes. That mom in the store whose child is in need of discipline…WHY? Was she never taught how to train her kids? Is she having a rough day? A rough life? Is it something she just honestly doesn’t see? Or care about? I find there is always a reason. And fixing the reason in your head helps.
So I, the fat person, judges fat people. How insane is that?? My first comparison/judgment is always, “Are they fatter than me?” How insane is that? But I do it as if I am gonna gain something by declaring a complete stranger fatter than me! And then I proceed to compare every single thing about them to myself. It is a good day if I can get myself to come out on top!! But that rarely happens.
My guess is that God was not the creator of the scorecard. I bet he prefers that score keeping didn’t exist. As the creator , everything belongs to Him and each and every story that He has crafted will be worked out by Him for His glory and the individual’s good. My story may be on step 5688 and theirs is only on step 4123. We are all at different stages of our story.
And now, the eating.
I have not had the best eating week, but it is nothing like the horrific weeks I was having in the past, before I started with Bright Lines. I have been pretty good at the Intermittent Fasting part of eating. I wait most days until noon to begin eating, and I am done before 6 PM. Usually it is closer to 5:30. That first meal is always good. In the middle of the afternoon I spend about an hour taking supplements and having my cup of coffee. Currently I am trying some new stuff: bone broth, raw sauerkraut as my probiotic, reishi mushroom powder. Call it lunch, I guess, but I mix up Almond milk and turmeric (Truvani) and heat it to warm. Into the Vitamix it goes with the mushroom powder, some Herb Pharm Anxiety Soother, Truvani Protein powder, Maca, and more turmeric. This is about 250 calories. I drink it and then a mug of coffee with almond milk. I take a multivitamin and fish oil and B12 as well. Dinner is something, usually salad-like around 5:00 or so.
And I was buying organic bone broth for around $2.40 a serving, but this gal bought a whole organic chicken and made more than 18 servings for $12. Yay me!!
Super simple. Cook the chicken in a crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. Take out the meat and leave everything else in the crock pot, including the gizzards, etc that are usually stuffed in the cavity. Turn the crockpot to WARM and add water to cover the bones. After 24 -36 hours pour through a sieve and put in the freezer of refrigerator. Add 3-4 quarts of water again to the bones and repeat the process, but a little longer. The instructions I am following is from Our Small Hours blog at oursmallhours.com. She does this a third time and still has good broth. Not sure if I will do it a third time, as I do not know how to tell if it is good broth at that point or not? I thought of mixing all the batches together at that point to get consistency??