Comparison is the killer of joy, taking a cue from Bruce Jenner.

It’s so hard to not compare.

Looks, weight, parenting, clothing, salaries, cars, intimate relationships, engagement rings, after school activities, winning goals. A society all striving to be better than one another, all comparing ourselves to one another, all thinking the grass is greener. (I mean I even went as far as comparing my cheek bones to Bruce Jenner’s when his new self popped up on my Tuesday morning news feed. What I should have been doing instead is taking a cue from his freedom to declare who he/she is!)

When does it stop?

I’m the worst when it comes to falling into this trap. As a woman I fall into it when it comes to my looks and my aspirations, a little voice chanting are you pretty enough? are you ambitious enough? is what you do enough? As a mother I get wrapped up in a web of comparison when it comes to my parenting and my involvement with my kids, another voice whispering that mom is doing more than you, look at that mom with her kids every second, there’s that mom winning the gold with leading the girl scout pack and vomiting out Pinterest worthy crafts and lesson plans with each breath. Comparison even ropes me in as a wifeare you having as much sex? are you everything he wants? wives written for television are the standard, you have your work cut out if you’ll ever be that good. 

Comparison is actually killing our joy. But when I think about stopping the madness it would basically mean cutting all links to the outside world. Unfortunately this isn’t possible. So what if we tried changing the way we interpreted all these comparisons.

Where to start is easy: don’t compare yourself to the other person beside you. But easier said than done, so let’s add a dimension: Turn that comparison you are so tempted to make into inspiration. Be inspired by that person and their abilities, be inspired to take your own steps into coming into your own person. Highlighting your talents and your unique qualities out loud.  However, take care to not confuse inspiration with aspiration. Don’t fall into an even tricky trap than that of comparing, don’t aspire to be another. Always be yourself with your own aspirations.

Next, why not put the light we find so easy to cast on others on ourselves. Treating ourselves as our own best friend, celebrating who we are and even what we are lacking.Rather than focusing and envying the seemingly great qualities or belongings of another, why not focus on the qualities that shine in ourselves and what we have in our lives that we call our own. Declaring the person we are is just amazing as the next.

According to yogic philosophy, we cause ourselves pain by desiring things or personality attributes we don’t have, but think that we need. In other words, we harm ourselves by longing after what belongs to someone else. Whether that be a bigger or cleaner home, a smaller waist or bigger boobs, a mommy that doesn’t yell or one that is a cruise director for her kids on a daily basis, the wife who fulfills all fantasies or wears a nightie every night,  or whatever that comparison may be that is killing our joys. Let’s encourage happiness. Striving to be grateful for what we have rather than yearning for new and different things. By finding happiness with who we are and what we have, we also find joy, relaxation, and peace.

I’m finally learning to accept and to cater to what makes me happy and what makes me, physically, mentally and emotionally at rest. Though it may not be what everyone else deems appropriate or trendy, though it may not make the top pins of Pinterest, setting up the right environment for me to succeed in and to feel as myself, I am able to conquer this whole woman, mommy, wife thing I got going on.

Are you accepting??? Or are you just comparing yourself and losing sight of what you should be declaring out loud about who you are, what you have and what makes you happy? As a reminder to myself to let the person I am flourish in the environment I prefer, I’ll end this post with a “Declaration of Joy for Me”. I hope you all follow suit and write-up your own as we go into the busy summer season.

“Declaration of Joy for Me” ~ A declaration of who I am and the environment in which I flourish in with NO apologies:

I need to exercise every day or I turn into a mean bitch.

Most days I choose to wear makeup because it makes me more productive. However, I wear a baseball hat 50% of the time.

I can’t stand going to Costco, it drives me to the brink of madness. Too many aisles, too much stuff, too many samples.

I love yoga not running, I’ll do yoga until the day I die but probably will never run a marathon.

I don’t drink. I was basically a drunk for all four years of college and the three years following graduation. Once I got pregnant I just never had the desire to indulge again, when I do I instantly regret it as my children wake up between 6 am and 7 am. So I just don’t get all the “mommy wine” shit out there.

I am more at peace in grown-up places like bars, libraries, coffee shops, book stores, salons, gyms even wildlife preserves. I seem to lose a little bit of my soul and sanity when I enter something completely devoted to children. It’s a huge possibility that if we ever make it to Disney that I will completely wither up and turn to dust upon setting foot past the entrance.

I’d rather be stuck in a padded room with my three children than take them to the mall. I hate the mall and mall play areas. I’ve been to the mall a total of 3 times in the last 3 years.

We co-slept with all three kids, including the twins in boppees. That’s right … two adults, twins and two boppees in a king for 3.5 months. Maybe that’s why I refuse to let them climb in bed with us now, but will have a sleepover on the living room floor with them.

My kids follow a strict nap and sleep schedule, and have since the day they were born. Doing so just makes our household run so much smoother.

Buying a piece of clothing that costs more than $10 makes my heart seize up. I am obsessed with online shopping.

I feed my kids McDonald’s meats and drink McCafe ice coffees, the words “Medium ice coffee, sugar-free vanilla, light on the cream” just rolls off my tongue as if second nature. I also eat DQ ice cream.

My way of parenting is old school and not modern at all. I am okay with this. I tend to label it as free-spirit parenting 🙂

I hate Disney Junior and it gets under my skin when moms sing the songs from those shows.  I would be happy if the only channels available were Food Network and Crime TV.

I didn’t like Frozen and my son only saw it once, my other two have never seen it. That’s right, I said NEVER.

My living room constantly looks as if a bomb went off and a small tribe of children have taken over my home, but my kitchen is spotless and I make my bed every morning.

I read an average of 5 books to my kids every day but I find pushing them on a swing one of the most annoying things in life.

I am happy spending the entire day inside with crafts, my laptop, coffee, homemade snacks and my kids in their pajamas. Leaving the house is overrated for me.

I am a believer in gluten-free, paleo, essential oils, coconut oil, organics and making most of our meals and snacks from scratch. I visit our local health food store at least twice a week.

And this folks is the environment that I flourish in with the light on the amazing woman, mom and wife that I am.

(*This post was inspired by the MOPS theme “A Fierce Flourishing” for 2015-2016.)

P.S. My selfie stick came in #mommyselfie

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