I often feel bad for many women in this society because of the emphasis that is placed on physical beauty (although I would be a hypocrite to deny my appreciation for it). Many women I talk to not only feel the pressure of “looking beautiful“ for men, but also live in the tension of comparison with other women. Deeply embedded into our own frame of consciousness is a lie that tells us that who we are and what we are is never enough. We live with this sense of shame, and we long for what others have. For those of us who are following a religious or spiritual path, this shame gets in our way of trusting and becoming who God has already told us we are (perfect, holy, blameless).
The first Christians fell into this deeply torturous game of comparison. The first Judaism-based Christians could not handle the practices of the Gentile Christians. They wanted them to participate in the same eating rituals, the same rituals involving circumcision, as well as other practices that were involved with first century Jewish living. I think that we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others when we cannot trust a God who says, “You’re enough. This life is enough.” Like unhappy people, we look outside of ourselves to blame, shame, and guilt others to validate our own weakness of faith. There is a strong liberation, an overwhelming freedom in being able to say, “This is enough. I am enough.” I can trust the God who began a good work in and will carry it out unto completion. I can trust the life that God has birthed into me and can move forward in it to liberate others. This trust in not comparing ourselves to others is an overwhelming freedom.