One thing I have noticed in this online game - blogging, selling on Etsy, being on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest...the Green Eyed Monster is always lurking, reading to pounce. Have you noticed it? It looks something like this...
Scenario 1: Sitting at your laptop, doing the first online check of the day. Log on to Facebook, Etsy, email, etc. Facebook...Oh, wow, look at that. [Friend]'s child is already [insert activity that your child is not yet doing]. Good for her!
And at first, you genuinely mean it. You are truly happy and uplifted by the sight of cute little tot doing cute things. But then that Green Eyed Monster pounces and you feel just a bit blah. If you're good at the whole meta-cognition thing, you might notice yourself thinking "Why does her kid always do things [sooner/better/faster/neater/with more flair] than mine?" which might lead to "What am I doing wrong? Am I a bad mother? I don't spend enough time with my kids. I'm just not good enough!" Sound familiar?
Scenario 2: Looking at Instagram on your phone. Scanning through food photos, sunrise photos, kids doing funny things photos...then you see it. Oh. My. Gosh. [Another online seller] is posting off 15 parcels today? Wow! Good on her, she must be doing well!
Again, you do genuinely feel happy for her. But it's not long before the Green Eyed Monster starts gnawing at your insides. "She is ALWAYS posting items off. Why does she sell so much and I try so hard but can't seem to make more than a sale or two per month? I mean, I know her work is really lovely, but I think mine is too!" which might lead to "What am I doing wrong? Is my stuff just rubbish? Does nobody truly like my work? Am I wasting my time? Maybe I'm just not good enough!" Come on, be honest and tell me, does this ever happen to you?
Have you ever noticed the Green Eyed Monster sneaking up on you while you trawl the world of Social Media? What do you do about it? Have you ever noticed that comparison seems to reap nothing but dissatisfaction and self-doubt? How do you navigate the online world without giving way to the Green Eyed Monster?
- For me personally, I know that self-awareness is a big first step. Acknowledging [like I am in this post] that I struggle with this.
- Secondly, reminding myself that comparison that leads to the old "I'm just not good enough" story is not very helpful. There are helpful ways of comparing myself, but I must be very wary to ward off the Green Eyed Monster.
This is important to note. I LOVE the embroidery work of Dandelyne, for example. Sonia, the lovely woman behind the store, is vivacious, charismatic and a little bit wacky! She does a wonderful job of creating quality pieces, and her brand strong and style is unique and recognisable. She is one that I absolutely marvel at, when I see on Instagram that she has 56 orders to get out. But when the Green Eyed Monster threatens to start on me, I remind myself that there is no way I could possibly begin to handle 56 orders before Christmas!! Her kids are at school, and while that presents different challenges, it does allow more time, so she is able to take on more work. I just physically cannot do that much at this point in time, and there is no point wishing I could!
So when I notice that Green Eyed Monster sneaking up on me, I can throw it off the trail by:
- celebrating differences
- doing something special for that particular friend
- asking my friend about how she is managing - and really getting to know her for who she is
- looking at my own life and thinking about where my own behaviours are
vastly different from my values, and focusing on what I need to do to
change that (with God's help)
- praying for my friend - for absolute and total blessing over every area of their life
- surrendering my feelings of jealousy to God and asking Him to replace them with love