The Comparison Game

I’m here, climbing these steps in the gym. Kind of wishing I hadn’t set myself up at such a high speed. I’m already tired. I’m trying to act like I’m not actually dying, huffing and puffing up these steps. 

I come here to feel good. To release stress. But I find myself even more stressed. I look to the person to my right. She’s going faster, she’s been here for 20 minutes, I’ve been here for four and I’m exhausted.

She’s got a bigger butt, leaner legs, probably a thigh gap too. Probably because she’s more determined. She’s better at this kind of thing. I’m not as good.

I go straight to the leg machines. If I have a nicer butt, toner legs people will notice. And sometimes they do. But then I wonder if that’s the attention I should be looking for.

Then it switches:

That girl, she’s wearing those leggings… but should she? Should I? That girl should probably do more squats. Oh, she gained some weight, or she lost a lot of weight. She used to work out all the time. Well, at least I’m ahead of her. But she, she works out every day. I need to stop being lazy.

When did other women become my enemy? Something to degrade to make me feel upgraded? An enemy I have created myself, in my mind. 

When did I become my worst enemy?

When did something in my mind go off and say that I can belittle myself? Or others for that matter.

How did I get to a place where I lose confidence because I lack self-love. 

I tell myself I do it to feel good. Exercise, eat healthily.  But as I roam around the gym I realize my mind may not be in the same place as my heart.

These two thoughts come to mind:

  • Real, authentic self-love is hard. Be humble they say. Don’t be prideful. She’s too confident. Don’t overdo it. Don’t be too much. Oh, and don’t be too little either. 
  • Yet, be confident, be proud of your accomplishments, show people what you’re made of.

How is anyone supposed to live with these expectations? Is there even middle ground here? How can I balance these feelings?

These are all words I typed on my phone as I moved around the gym to different machines and places that would make me feel different feelings and emotions. I had to ask myself why I think such detrimental thoughts and why I hadn’t noticed it before.

I feel ashamed for the way I look and feel about myself, but more so about how I look and feel about others. It’s all a subconscious thing until now. This conversation had gone on in my head for so long, I didn’t realize its effect.

So, what now? I don’t know. It’s a constant struggle to show myself and others respect inside of my mind. Because those thoughts count too. Thinking of them in the first place is what leads to saying them out loud.

So I have done the only thing I know how to do right now. I know I want to take steps to eliminate these negative, demeaning thoughts.

1.) Pray for positive thoughts

2.) Find an accountability partner

3.) Stop the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones ASAP.

4.) Remind myself we are ALL human. We’re all made in the image of God and judging ourselves and each other isn’t even our job.

5.) We should be loving on ourselves and each other, not degrading. Whether it’s only in the space of our minds or not.

6.) Get over yourself. (What I have to say to myself because I’m not the only person in the room.)

Writing this, let alone publishing it, has been hard. I was so hesitant to hit the publish button because it could mean shattering some views other people have of me. But, if it means being honest and real so that more people- women specifically- can talk about this comfortably, then it’s worth it.

As you can see I’m not perfect. I don’t have this all figured out. But, I do want to make a change. I want girls and women to feel confident going into the gym or anywhere. I want them to feel good about themselves and others. So, I hope this is a step toward that.

And know that no matter the size on your tag, the size of your butt, whether you wear leggings or not, how much time you spend in the gym, or how many green things you eat, God loves you all the same. And He is the only one who can authentically, unconditionally, portray that kind of love. But, we can learn from Him and hope to love each other and ourselves like that.

Have you ever felt these feelings? Let me know your thoughts!

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)

Real Estate Isn’t the Only Real Investment

I had a teacher in high school who continually drilled me with the idea that going to a community college is the best choice. You should never pay more for a private school, a state school etc. He argued you get the same experience and credits from a community college.

He talked to us about budgeting and saving money- something I believe I do well. He told us the only investment we should make, the only thing in this life we should take loans out for is real estate.

I am here to share with you that I disagree. Strongly.

 

 

Buying a house vs. picking a college:

When looking for a house you must consider all aspects: location, environment, commute, community, price, value and so on.

-You look for something that you can stay in and grow in. Whether that is for four years or forty

–You are looking for something that you can rely on, a place you can call home. A community that will welcome and invite you.

-You are looking for relationships to bloom, people to know and to know you.

College isn’t much different.

-You take your time carefully choosing a place where you can grow, meet people, learn, and find community.

-You look at the price, you look at the location, the community. You prepare for a place that will be your home for the next four or more years.

During these four years, it’s more than just a loan, a big number on your screen or money coming out of your account. It’s time spent growing, changing, learning, loving.

It’s a time that will prepare you for more than a job. It helps prepare you for life. Life isn’t only about your job, your house or money. It’s about you and the people and things you love and that is always worth investing in.

Whether you choose to go to a community college, a state college a private college or any other form of education, know that it is an investment in yourself and in your life. Yes, budget, save money, work hard,  but the majority of people buying the home they love, had to take some time paying it off. They do this because they see it as an investment… and you should too.

So, to all of you wondering which college to choose, stressing about the price, understand this: College, if treated right, is an INVESTMENT. This money you are putting into school is an investment in yourself. Something that will stick with you for years and years after you’ve left.

Are you struggling to figure this out? You’re not alone! Have any questions? I have gone three years in the place that I see as an investment. One that I will work hard for and try my best to not take for granted.  How are you feeling about your decision?

 

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)

Las Vegas: “You’re in my prayers”… Are They?

 

Everyone is talking about the Las Vegas shooting and it brings up some hard questions.

It leads me to ask “where is God in the midst of all this pain?”

“What is he planning and why does he allow this to happen?”

“How can I even pray about something I feel I have no power over?”

I believe these questions are necessary, even encouraged. The disciples asked questions such as these and we are free to do the same.

However, asking the questions doesn’t make it any easier. This is still something hard to handle, deal with, and understand.

I, unfortunately, sometimes find myself avoiding the topic altogether. I become overwhelmed or I feel a lack of means or authority to say anything.

One thing I do how to do it pray. But not the typical “you’re in my prayers” or “I’ll pray about that” kind of prayer.

Events such as these, make me realize how little meaning those statements can carry. And I say that because I myself, neglect those words.

A devastating event like this (or hurricane Harvey or Maria)calls for more than just a quick prayer to ease your conscious or to check it off your list. This is something that affects so many people today and will continue to do so.

This is something a new generation will read in their textbooks. This is something that will be remembered annually. Something many will mourn for longer than a minute.

So it deserves more than a couple seconds of prayer.

Let this be a reminder of how we care for people and our broken world. Let it also be a reminder to take into consideration the meaning of “you’re in my prayers.”

While I am aware that there are people out there who are magnificent at this, I know there are people like myself who needed a new perspective and a little tug on the heart from God to recognize this.

So, with all that said, I hope you’ll join me in asking these hard questions. But also, in praying consistently, deeply, and with meaning as our country grieves.

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)