She’s living the good life.
That’s what we often think as we notice the mom who just parked beside us get out of her brand new (and clean) SUV sporting crisp, ironed clothes, coordinating shoes, and an Italian leather handbag. Meanwhile, you grab a baby wipe in a last-ditch effort to get the peanut butter off your leggings and pack it in the pocket on the side of the door with umpteen other tissues and trash.
She’s got it made.
The thought comes to our mind as we watch them laugh with delight as they talk about their summer plans and dreams for the future. They gaze adoringly in each other’s eyes while your heart still feels the sting from last night’s argument with your spouse.
She has it all together.
We think this to ourselves as we attend a birthday party with our child and notice the well-appointed home, the shining floors, and organized bookshelves. Whereas we know a floor with spilled Cheerios, windows dulled with fingerprints, and loads of laundry await us back home.
She has it all. Or so it seems.
And whether we want to or not, we compare. Though we know it’s unwise, we observe how we measure up and often come up lacking.
But perception is not realty. Smiles, laughter, and possessions can cover a multitude of struggle. For everything we see, there are hundreds, even thousands, of things we don’t see.
We don’t see the tears cried in the closet.
We don’t see the anxiety that plagues her mind.
We don’t see the maxed-out credit cards that weigh heavy on her thoughts.
We don’t see the struggle she has with God and faith.
We don’t see the regret, loneliness, fear, or bitterness.
We don’t see the nights spent tossing and turning.
We don’t see the unrealized dreams or broken promises.
We don’t see the complete picture of anyone’s life.
Only God sees. Only God knows.
So rather than living in a world of comparison, perhaps it’s best if we commit to living in a world of compassion and kindness.
Because the truth is simple: we are all broken . . . each and every one of us. We all have darkness in our past, struggles in our present, and worries for our future.
There’s not one of us who has it all together, all the time.
So rather than see another woman through the eyes of comparison, let’s look more deeply and see the soul of a woman who loves deeply, cries sorrowfully, tries earnestly, works diligently, laughs delightedly, sings joyfully, hurts painfully, dreams wishfully, and hopes eternally.
Because that woman is me. And that woman is you.