Let the Comparison END!!!

True Story

My heart broke into a million pieces when my 13 year old niece said that she wanted to kill herself.

I remember sitting up straighter, my head and heart spinning with emotions. She told me that she wasn’t pretty enough, good enough, tall enough… and so the list of negativity went on. With each word, I wanted to cry. Did she not see how beautiful she really was? Her big green eyes, long dark her, smooth olive skin – not to mention her sweet soul! What was wrong with her?

Then she blurted, “I’m nothing like Isla! She’s so beautiful.” The disappointment and longing in her voice were tangible.

That was it! She was so absorbed in comparing herself to her cousin Isla that her blinders refused to reveal just how amazing and special she really was. Yes, Isla was beautiful, but no more than Tayla.

That night I ended up staying over at her house and we talked until dawn. We came up with some great strategies that she could try in her life. We prayed together and asked God to make Satan go away and stop feeding her lies. It was a very special night for both of us.

Why Comparison is bad!

  • You will ALWAYS fall short: When you compare yourself to someone else, you will always fall short. You will never feel good enough because you are comparing yourself to that person’s attributes, skills and looks and not your own. When was the last time you actually wrote down your own amazing qualities?
  • Comparison is unfair: It’s unfair because you are comparing yourself to other humans who are just as flawed as you. Nobody is perfect, therefore comparison will never be fair. Just imagine how the other person you compare yourself to really feels about herself. I’m sure she also feels inadequate at times. It’s not fair or right to put ANYONE on a pedestal.
  • The comparisons cycle is NEVER ending: It’s a vicious circle that never ends. When you finish comparing yourself to one particular girl, you will then find another person to compare yourself to. I guess it’s like finding a new trend or changing your fashion according to the seasons.
  • Comparison steals your time: How many times a week, how many minutes and hours a day do you spend fantasising and wishing that you were like someone else? All the time you are wasting looking at glossy photo-shopped images or at girls in your school, church or neighbourhood is wrong! Just think about the wonderful things you could actually do and accomplish if you got your mind and eyes off them.
  • Comparisons will often result in resentment: Resentment towards yourself and the other person will build and your self-loathing will grow.
  • Comparisons robs your joy: Comparing yourself to others never makes you feel joyous. We usually compare ourselves to another girl because we are admiring her qualities and measuring them up against our worst ones. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.

Betrayed – The Story of Rachel & Leah

“Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” Genesis 29:18

“I hate you! Hate you!” I yell, as furious tears roll down my cheeks. “How could you do this to me? How could you!”

I cannot breathe. My head is spinning out of control. I lean against the pole that holds my bedroom tent up and sob uncontrollably.

I hear her voice break through my sobs and feel her hand touch me on the shoulder. How dare she touch me!

“Rachel, please! This was not my idea,” she says.

“Don’t, Leah!” I turn to face her and my expression reveals my revulsion at what she is proposing to do. There she is, veiled and ready to walk down the aisle.

“Don’t!” I say again and stumble towards the opening of the tent.

“Father said that I had to…”

“But it’s MY wedding day!” I scream. I wish I could control my emotions but they just spill out of me.

“Don’t act that way, Rachel. It’s our custom. The eldest must marry first! It’s not my fault!”

“Yes, but not to my betrothed!”

“Don’t overdramatise, Rachel! It’s not the end of the world!”

I cover my mouth for fear of screaming out my anger. I need to find father. I need an explanation.

I can hear Leah muttering in the background but shut my ears to her irritating voice. She’ll never understand because she doesn’t love Jacob like I do!  

I walk straight into father.

“Rachel, darling! What’s wrong?”

I look up and see him through a blur of tears, “Wrong? You know very well that Leah is marrying…”

“Shhhh, be quiet!” He says through clenched teeth. He looks both ways, grabs my arm, and pulls me back into the tent.

“Darling Rachel, this is best for everyone.”

I gasp in disbelief. “How is this good for me?!” 

“The younger sister cannot marry before the elder. Our society will shun Leah – and you! You know our rules and customs. It’s just not done, Rachel.”

My father shakes his head and paces the length of the tent. A sheepskin rug catches the toe of his sandal and he almost trips over.

Suddenly he halts and advances towards me, finger outstretched, “…And I forbid you to warn Jacob!”

“Jacob doesn’t know?” I cry in disbelief.

“No! And under no circumstances will you say anything! Please Rachel, keep this secret.”

I turn towards my sister and glare daggers at her. If I could slap her pretty face, I would! Her pale eyes beg me to keep quiet but I’m screaming inside and want to lunge at her and shred those delicate, sheer veils covering her body.

My thoughts race. I’m the one promised to him! I’m his betrothed! He belongs to me and me to him. My hearts flutters at the thought of Jacob’s handsome face on the day he asked for my hand in marriage. A feeling of confidence takes control, “You can’t deceive him. We are promised to each….”


“He has worked seven years to have me; he LOVES me, Father!” I looked from his face to Leah’s. “He has worked seven years for the right to marry me, and that’s enough!”

My father looks angry and tired all in one.

“Put an end to this childish nonsense and go tend your sheep.”

Is he serious?

“Leah, hurry up!” Father says gruffly, “You have a wedding to attend.”

With that, he storms out of the tent, leaving a waft of pungent frankincense oil in his wake. I wrinkle my nose in distaste. I loathe that wretched scent, but father insists on the healing properties of frankincense.

I slowly turn to Leah and my eyes fill with tears. “Leah, please, I beg you not to marry Jacob!” I walk over and grab her soft hands in my callous ones.

“Please! Don’t trick Jacob!” Tears fall in a steady stream again. My heart breaks at the thought of him being hurt.

Leah shakes her head, the little beads around her head jiggling. “I must listen to father. You know our laws, Rachel. They have been around for centuries! A stranger can’t come here and abolish them just like that!” She clicks her fingers to emphasise her point.

“Jacob is not a stranger and you know it! He’s family and has been here for many years.” Leah looks away and I can tell that her conscience is plaguing her. She knows that what she is about to do is wrong.

“Why are you doing this?” I search her face for answers. “You know that I love him. Why would you do this to us?”

Leah pulls her hand away and turns her back to me.

“Leah, Why?”

Finally she turns, her eyes deep with sorrow, “You can marry anyone you want, Rachel! Let Jacob go.”

I don’t understand. “What do you mean? I don’t want anyone else. Jacob and I have waited seven years to marry. Why would I want to marry another man! That’s silly.”

Even under these dire circumstances I feel like a burst of laughter is about to explode from my chest. What an absurd suggestion! Why would Leah say that? Is not as if she is in love with him…. NO! That couldn’t be. Suddenly, I gasp in realisation, “You… you love Jacob?”

My heart thuds against my ribs as I wait for her answer. I see her veiled head nod and she slowly turns towards me.

“I love Jacob more than anything in the world!” Her pale eyes shine.

I feel sick and can barely speak. “You love him?” I hear my voice squeak.

“I never meant for it to happen, but it has and I can’t help it!” Leah wrings her hands in distress. “You are so beautiful, Rachel, and you can have just about any man you want. When I’m with you, no one even glances at me. I’m invisible to the world. But, Jacob, well… He is wonderful and kind to me and he loves me!”

“Like a sister!” I yell, shaking my head. “You are insane! People like you! Look at your skin, milky and soft. Nothing like my brown skin!”

I pace the room. How could my sister say she is less attractive than me? Her eyes are pale and soft like the sky. Mine are the colour of the desert earth. 

I stop pacing and turn to look at her. “You!” my voice breaks. “You have everything going for you. I live in your shadow. I can’t even cook! Do you know how humiliating that is? Don’t you understand the pressure that I feel? I have to live up to you! All my life I’ve had to compare myself to you – you weave, sew, cook and do everything perfectly!”

“You’re wrong!”

“No, let me finish!” I stride towards her, anger threatening to explode. “Do you not even know why I’m outdoors all the time? It’s because that’s the only place that I’m not compared to you! Out there I can be free from any comparison!”

Neither of us speak. My breathing is loud and raspy in the silence. Leah exhales and I look at her, hopeful.

“I love Jacob and will marry him!” Soft-spoken Leah looks at me defiantly. Her shoulders square as she looks me fully in the face. “Don’t stand in my way, Rachel. Jacob loves me!”

I shake my head, confused. Only last night Jacob and I had talked about children and growing old together.

My sister and I stare at each other, waiting for the other to back down. No one moves.

The sound of horse hooves outside the tent breaks our concentration.

It’s Jacob! I want to run into his arms and tell him everything, but my sister’s glare paralyses me. “If you love him, let him go!”

We hear voices – father’s and Jacob’s. I swallow, tortured by the choice of either telling him everything or keeping quiet. But I can feel defeat in the air. I know in my heart that I can’t defy father. Nothing guarantees that Jacob will believe me and father could easily say that I’m lying. Everything is against me. I have no one to turn to. I know our culture and our customs – I know my position as the younger woman. I know that if I make a scene, I’ll be shunned forever.

My shoulders sag, and I look one more time at Leah’s face. Her shoulders are stiff with resolve like a statue in the market place; lifeless and joyless.

With a cry, I run through the back opening of her tent and look for refuge in the fields. My heart shatters into a million pieces. I don’t want to think, I don’t want to breathe, I don’t want to live! I’m done. I’m crushed!

Strategies to END the game

  1. GRATITUDE: In all things find joy. Keep a gratitude journal and make it your homework to write something you are grateful about morning and night!
  2. TAKE A LITTLE STROLL: When those negative thoughts start to crawl into your mind, take a troll in your backyard, your neighbourhood or even around the room. It’s time to shake your perspective and give your brain a jolt.
  3. COMPARE YOURSELF TO YOU! If you want to compare yourself to anyone, compare yourself to YOU! If you want to improve a skill or study something then go for it and in the end you can see your own development.
  4. BAN NEGATIVITY: Each time any of those dark thoughts makes its way into your mind STOP, refocus, and say a quick prayer. God has given us the capacity to control our minds so take advantage of it. Say: “Not today negativity – take a hike!”
  5. SOCIAL MEDIA FAST: If you struggle with Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, or anything that is social media focused and you are constantly on these sites comparing yourself to others, then go on a FAST. This means to immediately stop looking at social media and stay away from it. As hard as it may be, it will get easier. It takes 30 days to break a bad habit but it’s achievable. That’s why getting involved in something else is a good idea so that you don’t have too much spare time on your hands.
  6. FOCUS ON YOUR POTENTIAL & STRENGTHS: Write a list of all your great qualities. Put down on paper all the things that you’re good at and focus on them more.
  7. FIND A HOBBY: Have you heard the saying: “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop?” Well, it is! When you have nothing to do and you start feeling bored, the devil takes advantage and starts whispering negative thoughts in your ear. That’s why it’s important to stay busy. Get a hobby – painting, drawing, playing an instrument, sports etc. Keep your mind focused and alert at all times.
  8. GET INVOLVED IN CHARITY WORK: Helping others really helps us focus less on ourselves. The busier you are helping make a difference, the less time you will have to think of yourself. It’s actually an amazing feeling.
  9. PRAY, PRAY & PRAY: Give God a ‘call’ every day. He loves it when you dial Him up for a chat. The more you pray the easier it will get to deal with your heart. You will actually notice that your feelings of inferiority start to disappear.
  10. SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP: If you feel that you are on the brink of doing something serious, or you are self-harming, find someone you trust to talk to and seek professional help from someone like a counsellor. Don’t suffer in silence.

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