It’s summer. A time of family, fun, vacations, swimming, cycling, hiking………ily, fun, vacations, swimming, cycling, hiking………
But for people with mood disorders, summers often trigger depression. It’s not hard to understand why and much of it stems from comparisons. When we’re around people who seem to be having a great time, families who seem to have it all together, lots of laughter, we often wonder why we aren’t that happy. Everyone else is laughing and suddenly we feel like crying.
What has happened?
We feel isolated and lonely. What is wrong with us, we ask.
There was a song from the sixties that went like this “Everyone is going out and having fun. I’m just a fool for staying home and having none……Oh, lonesome me.” Have you ever felt that way?
This is not to rain on anyone’s parade because those people we see may, in fact, be having a great time. It’s genuine. But it’s their present moment. It’s probably not what their lives are like all the time. And we all have those times as well. Days when we’re on top of the world. Days when other people look at us and wonder why they aren’t as happy as we are.
It’s called “comparing”. Or as I like to call it Facebookitis. You know what I mean. If you went by FB, you’d think everyone’s life is perfect. The crazy thing is, everyone else is doing it, too. So here we are, all of us going through life in a constant state of wondering why we’re not as happy as the next person.
But the crazy thing is, everyone else is doing it, too. So here we are, all of us going through life in a constant state of wondering why we seem to fall short on the happiness scale when the truth is we’re all pretty much the same. No matter how rich, famous or educated, we all do it, compare ourselves to others.
One of the bubbliest personalities ever is Goldie Hawn. And yet she suffers from depression. How many times do you suppose people looked at her and wished they could be like her never dreaming that inside she was miserable?
But since when does our happiness have to look like someone else’s? Or theirs look like ours? I’m simply not a rah, rah kind of person. I have fun. I laugh. But I’m definitely more low-key. I experience lots of joy but it looks different on me. I am never comfortable in crowds; that used to bother me.
Sometimes I wish I could be more “over the top”, but I’m not. This is how God, history, and circumstances have molded me. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I’m not sure it should.
Comparing doesn’t end with the comparison, though. It seeps into every part of our lives, souring our present moment and pretty much guaranteeing our future will be negatively affected, too. It steals our peace, the very peace Jesus promises. But maybe that peace depends on us making peace with who we are not who we think we should be.
Romans 9:20 says it all.
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'”
The next time you’re at a holiday gathering or anywhere there are a lot of people celebrating, be comfortable with yourself. You don’t have to act like anyone else. You don’t have to laugh or be outwardly exuberant if that’s not your style. (I’m not talking about social anxiety issues. That’s something else altogether.)
But if happiness is alluding you overall, you could be depressed and that would mean a visit to your doctor.
For today, be brave enough to be yourself and to be comfortable with yourself. I contend that as long as we’re trying to appear or feel different from who we really were created to be, there will be conflict and unhappiness within. Jesus was always who He was even though those that crucified Him wanted Him to be someone He wasn’t either.
They wanted a king, they got a servant.
Don’t let other people do that to you either.
God bless and have a good day.