Dare NOT to compare
Hey! Lady! You need to…LET GO!
I heard the warning, but it was too late. My body was already heading down the lane, bowling ball attached to my arm, and in the lead. I was in full on Superman mode. I know this, because when I looked over my shoulder, where the laughter was coming from, I was airborne and horizontal to the crowd.
It was my first time bowling and I failed to let the ball go at just the right time, and then it was too late.
You know that feeling you get when you slip on a patch of ice? You try so hard to recover and then you feel it, that moment you’ve run out of time and all you can do is brace yourself for impact.
I recognized instantly it was too late to recover my footing. I lost control and ended up like a beached whale sprawled in the middle of lane 14 at Boulevard Bowl.
This story, though true, is a gentle reminder there are some things we must learn to “let go of” or they will pull us down.
For example, what about the weight of comparison?
It can be healthy to compare when you look at things like: social etiquette, sound financial habits, fashion sense, what’s trending in the news, etc… But what may start as an innocent habit can quickly turn into the, “I’m not enough” syndrome.
“A flower does not compare itself to other flowers, it just blooms.”
One holiday season while trolling Facebook I stumbled upon an old friend’s post. She was lamenting how tired she was after decorating her thirteen Christmas trees. THIRTEEN!!! (and, yes, I’m using my outside voice!).
I sensed she was looking for sympathy when she went on to post how concerned she was that “hubby” would not be home in time to throw steaks on the grill. Apparently, her cherubs were returning home for the holidays, from their Ivy League universities, and she was requesting prayers that they would get to the airport on time the following morning. Destination, Vail. She finished out her post with, #Blessed.
I stared at the computer screen for several minutes. Transferring the slice of frozen cheese pizza from my mouth to the paper plate beside me, I walked over to the Christmas tree in the corner of the living room. Resting my hands on my hips I began to assess the glaring imperfections.
The tree that just twenty minutes earlier reminded me of a Norman Rockwell painting, now seemed dowdy. The broken branch held up by last year’s candy cane was no longer clever and eclectic. It was just a damaged branch on an old fake tree.
I vowed to shop the after Christmas sales for a new tree, psh! I might even get several!
A few days later a dirty little secret was uncovered on social media.
Facebook conducted a survey and the results were astonishing! 75% of Facebook users confessed to “padding” their posts, at times, in order to appear happier and more successful than they really are. They admitted to doing things like: slipping into their neighbor’s yard and cropping their pictures to give the illusion they are somewhere exotic, borrowing expensive jewelry, renting luxury cars, bringing designer clothing home from the store but keeping the tags on to return after the photo shoot, just to name a few.
You know what that means!? When we glamorize and try to keep up with everything we see on social media, we are chasing something that may not even exist!
I can’t imagine what my grandparents would say if they were here today, and while I may not know their thoughts I do think I have an idea what Dr. Seuss might say. Maybe something like this…
My house is big!
My car is new,
And on my feet
I prefer Jimmy Choo
At the end of my wrist
Is a cell phone that dangles,
And is it just me
Or is this a really good angle?
Some people call me vain!
A real self- absorbed sinner
And I’m NOT!
But, can I just show you what I’m having for dinner?
Oh, think what you want
But this gal can’t be bought,
Unless, of course,
You’re talking Stella and Dot
Well! Gotta run!
My neighbors will be home soon,
I’m posting MY pic by THEIR pool
And titling it #WelcomeFromCancun!
Ah, they should give me an award
I’ve made room on my shelfie,
For the day I’m inducted
Into the Hall of Fame of selfies!
Alright! All together now, deep cleansing breath in…..now, breathe out.
Later, I went back and reread my friend’s holiday post, but this time I didn’t cast judgement. My heart soared! She was enjoying the holiday season with her family AND a house full of Christmas trees! Why shouldn’t I be happy for her?
Whether someone “pads” their post on social media or not, the only person I need to compare myself to is myself. I don’t have to be better than anyone else, I just need to be a better version today of the woman I was yesterday. There’s plenty of room at the table, why can’t we all enjoy the party together?
Well, guess what? I still have that broken Christmas tree. I can’t bring myself to get rid of it because I love all the cherished memories it reminds me of: Christmas Eve dinners, Christmas morning stampedes, the friends and family it has greeted every holiday season, and the beautifully wrapped gifts it has protected. Precious memories, how they linger…
Tomorrow when you jump out of bed with a big fat fabulous idea you know God placed on your heart,
BE BOLD, BE BRAVE, BE-YOU-TIFULl
Don’t fall into the comparison trap. Hike up your robe, get out of the boat and chase your dream!
Others may be pursuing the same dream, but no one can do it just like you!
Can I just say, I HATE BOWLING!. I stink at it! I don’t understand the scoring, and besides that, I simply can not participate in any recreational activity that doesn’t allow cute shoes.
But what I do know is when I let go of the things holding me back my heart is full, my relationships are healthy, and my life is more in line with God.
“Don’t be like the rest of them Darling”
No one compares to you,