Monday, August 23, 2010

The Comparison Challenge!!

“Jealousy is a tiger that tears not only its prey but also its own raging heart”

Nyah Nyah...I'm stronger than you are!!
Recently I came across a post at a friends blog.  It's called "Death by Comparison" and it really struck home for me.  The challenge my friend gave was to try to stop comparing ourselves to others, and start honoring the unique things that we alone are good at.   I see the comparison game being played out many times a day.  In my own life and in the lives of the people I admire.  There have been a few occasions when I see someone in our community who reads our blog, and they express their inadequacy because they aren't "crafty", and we look like we craft all day long here at Twig and Toadstool.  I always tell them, sometimes that one single craft project is about the only productive thing we do all day.  The funny thing is though, that I play the comparison game too...I'm not a good enough gardener, cook, homeschooler, employee, sewer, knitter, photographer, crafter...mother.   I compare myself to the people I know in my community, and the mamas I've met in the blog world.

I was over visiting one of my favourite blogs the other day and admiring this womans home...everything is neutral colours and pure wood...I thought for a moment, "I need to do that...I need to be more like her".  Then I looked around my house, at all the "pops" of colour all over the place, the crazy dressers I've painted, my red, white and turquoise kitchen, and I thought..."hey, this is me!"  I decided in that moment that instead of envying this mamas home, I would admire it instead...but, I don't have to have that home to create a peaceful and loving space.  There is peace in between the bursts of colour at my house!

My wish for my mama and women friends is that we start celebrating each other and the talents we have that are unique to us.  Let's STOP beating ourselves up all the things we don't do, and start enjoying the things we accomplish daily.  You know...on some days, just getting out of bed is an accomplishment!   Comparing ourselves to others comes from that deep insecure place that resides within us all...we can't be it all and do it all, (I know I'm too damn tired at the end of the day to "do it all"!).  Write down the things that you're jealous of in others...write down the things you "wish" you were better at...and then BURN YOUR LIST!!!!  Let that frail and insecure part of you go and honor the fact that you have a clean house, or that you're super organized, or that you're a mean accordian player!

My list going up in flames!  SO healing!

So I'm taking on the's my thing I'm good at and I celebrate in myself.  I'm a crafty mom! 
My garden is a mess, my house is well, disasterous, the laundry rarely gets done, but the glue gun is always on at my house!

What are you good at?  What are you willing to celebrate in yourself??

Maureen xo


  1. Oh, how wonderful is this post? Burn it, baby! Watching your list go up in flames must have been empowering.

  2. Thank you for posting this. I find that I struggle with this a lot.....and I need to stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Off to enjoy MY beautiful life!

  3. I absolutely love this! I agree that we (especially as women) are way too hard on ourselves and each other. If we could only learn to accept everyone in their beautiful individuality, and stop comparing ourselves to others and beating ourselves down. You have encouraged me in my quest at finding my own way...Thank you!

  4. I should probably give this a try. I've spent the last several weeks gearing up for the Elf's birthday - making things and plans. And in the end he enjoyed junk food at his grandparents and plastic toys much more than anything I did. I'm feeling especially Not Good Enough in so many ways.

    What am I good at? It's hard to come up with anything right now. I do know that I makes some damned fine hummus, though! (:

    sometimes, it is so easy to get caught up in the "i'm not good enough" realm while journeying through blog always seems like someone has it together more than you....or is better at one thing or another.
    I love to turn, i am inspired by so much that i see one is a blessing!
    things I am good at? needlefelting, cooking vegetarian meals, organizing get togethers for my mom friends:) and all these things, I enjoy so very much....oh, and most importantly, I think i am a very nurturing mama:):):)

  6. beautiful post!! i get these a lot from friends that read my blog that they don't like blogs because our lives seem so perfect and put together and then they feel like inadequate moms. i feel sad about that, but i often compare myself to other more *put together* moms, too.

    i am great at crafting, too. i strive to share that with my children as often as possible.


  7. It seems comparisons are everywhere, especially in the blogging world. Thank you for pointing out that we should celebrate the things we are great at instead of wishing we could be good at everything. It wouldn't be a very interesting world if we were all good at the same things. Wonderful post.

  8. Thanks, Maureen, that one hit home. Let's all just agree we are all incredibly, edibly cool and go on our merry ways - whatever our ways may be!

  9. Great words, I have found that being content with who I am and what I have, has been very liberating. Not caring what people might think, of my lifestyle,my house,my clothes, etc. I still get funny looks,but I am happy and content, it is my journey and they are on theirs, each journey is so different. While I value everyone's uniqueness,I am strong in what works for me. Love and light Marie

  10. what a very true post. i often find myself thinking about how i wished i lived and things i would like to have.... then i remind myself that what i do have is everyday with my children. i to could have all that stuff but it would come at a cost of working away from home. Thats what keeps me sain! keeps me on track.
    I also find myself looking beyond the focus of the pictures and admiring the houses and wishing i had a home like that.....

    Thanks for the post and a reality check!!

  11. good for you!! I gave up trying or wish I had more. if I really wanted it, if it was really me, I'd be doing it. I accept my inadequacies. I know I'm not as nice, considerate, patient, patient, patient as I used to be. I do give myself reality checks quite often. I may wish for something, but it is just a wish, not a goal. It doesn't consume me. When the time is right for something, it will happen.

    As I see my body aging, I look back and think, I had all those things of youth. Now I have my family and children. My size 6 body is not to be anymore. My wrinkled face is mine. My muffin top and saggy boobs are mine b/c I gave birth to 2 awesome children. I don't need those things of youth where that's all you had. Now I have experience. Maybe it's an over 40 thing. A sort of peace came after that.

    So good for you for saying it out loud. to everyone. not just yourself. good for you.... and everyone else who accepts themselves. you may not like it, but at least you're on the road to acceptance.

  12. What a lovely post!
    We certainly do all sometime give off the illusion of that perfect creative day to day, when in reality, the moment we share may as you say be the only productive moment of that day.
    I am truly enjoying the introspection that is surfacing all around these days, reminding us to put our attention where it makes sense, in gratitude and appreciation for where we are at this very moment.
    :) Christina

  13. Nice to hear from you again Maureen - always so fresh and honest. Think i might write myself a list, will probably be a long one...

    I'm having a little giveaway at my blog ~ seemed the thing to do, 100 posts and all ... it's a little bit of Australia, your girls might like it ~ good odds too cause i don't have a bazillion followers to keep up with like you!

  14. Great post Maureen! I'm terrible for the same thing too. I even have a hard time accepting compliments for the things I do DO well. Someone says 'you are so creative', I'll more often than not answer 'no I just follow instructions well'. Why do we have such a hard time accepting compliments?

  15. Oh my gosh ! just yesterday i was speaking to my family about how much i compare my life and self with other mamma's that i know and admire.... i too am horrible at accepting or even beleveing a compliment -what a lovely happening for me to fall upon this post... confirmation that i am not alone in that feeling... thanks sooo much Maureen... what an inspiring post... i am gonna go right now and burn my list, let go, and be.....
    light and love

  16. My house is certainly NEVER clean enough. But my kids are (generally) clean! I'm getting better at having perspective, at recognizing what I'm good at and what I COULD improve...but also at realising that I don't HAVE to be good at everything. Then people would just hate me! Haha!
    Uuh...I'm good at singing Irish ballads and making people cry when I sing them. Betcha didn't know that about me...

  17. :) Hi Maureen! I just stumbled across your blog and this post has made me a fan!! Truly not a truer word has been spoken (or typed feverishly amidst a sea of dirty socks and breakfast dishes, what ever the case may be!) Thanks!! Suz :)

  18. You are so very sweet and brave for showing how you feel. There is so much unnecessary jealousy, competitiveness and feelings of unworthy amongst many of us. In my youth I backpacked through many poor, third world countries like India, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, only to see how these people struggle and then there are many that live happy simple lives. I learnt a great deal from these experiences. I work hard every day to appreciate the life that I have and make it an even better, natural happy life for my children - so they never have the feeling of unworthiness, competitiveness or jealousy ingrained in them.

  19. I so enjoyed your post. Thank you.
    Recently I started a journal only for the purpose of writing about all the things I am good at and enjoy. After over 15 years of looking into all the areas where I have to improve myself and things I need to learn in order to love myself I turned around and now look at all the things I already am and strengthen them.
    There are always people in the world that are better at the things I enjoy.
    I am a strong road cyclists and there are many many people that still take me over and that are stronger.
    I am the best mother for my daughter.
    I am an excellent listener.
    I am a very intuitive body worker.
    I am creative without being excellent at any special craft.
    I am the very best Eva I can be.

    Love from Eva

  20. Oh yes! I love this idea!
    I am good at singing...literally singing.
    I nominated you for an award, well, both of you I guess. :)

  21. Thanks, this is a very powerful post. It always surprises me when people admit they have compared themselves to me because like you said I'm lucky to get one thing done a day and I strive to focus on the positive in my blog, which some people don't like.
    I know when I start negatively comparing myself to other women and blogs it definitely comes from my insecurities.
    I love that you are willing to celebrate your strength on your blog! Yay! You are a great crafting mom, that's why I added you to my feedreader!
    Today, I am going to celebrate in myself that I love to try new things and that I am always growing.

  22. What a beautiful beautiful post! I love this, because so often its easy to feel a failure at something. I accomplish one thing, but the house is a mess. I feel as a mommy there are so many things to juggle and yet I'm constantly dropping one of them.

  23. Thanks so much for that reminder!!! Kerri


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