Comparing Ourselves to Others

I’ve done some pretty society-deemed-cool things in my life.

Been to some cool parties. Traveled to a few places. Met some cool folks. Seen a ton of concerts.

Hiked some mountains in California and other places.

10562505_10152694063191013_3685576680681682694_o.jpg

 

But contrary to what society and the world says, what I have done does not define who I am.

If it were that easy, I should be happy being a mountain-climber or a college graduate or the top of my class.

1557191_10154652994020704_719888938069498096_o

But those things will never be enough.

If our identity

is rooted in

what we have seen

or done,

or what we have,

we are easily shaken.

We forget the things we have done and the places we have been and what is most important to us when we compare ourselves to others who society deems more successful or better-off than us.

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-others.jpg

We’ve all done it. We’ve all compared ourselves to someone else and felt like we didn’t measure up. In middle school it was with whoever had the best clothes or coolest gadgets.

In high school it was who had the nicest car, cutest boyfriend or girlfriend, or who got the best grades.

In college it was who got invited to the best parties or went on the most interesting trips.

After college it’s who has the most success in finances, employment, or marriage.

———-> As soon as we compare ourselves to others who have more or have done more, what we had before feels like it doesn’t measure up. It’s a human and societal tendency.

I’m here to tell you it’s not fair or right to compare ourselves to people who are just as flawed as we are, and who have walked a completely different walk than us.

How could comparing ourselves to a 100% unique brother or sister do any good? !

How can we expect ourselves to be like somebody else? We are ourselves! We are who we are.

You have probably told yourself that. But you still compare yourself to others.

And that’s because you want to grow. You want to be better. You want to improve. Us humans do that. We desire to be better. To go further. To live bigger.

And that’s cool. That’s great, even. Without a goal in sight, a prize to aim for,  a direction to go in, life seems a lot less meaningful.

So lemme tellya a secret.

For the purpose of giving yourself direction, you can compare yourself to somebody.

You can compare yourself to this person for the sake of getting better.

The purpose of this comparison is to become a better person.

So here goes.

There is one and only one person

we should ever compare ourselves to

IMG_20170321_184821028.jpg

Purple Majesty in Yorktown (not the actual name of the flower lol)

and it’s not yourself, so don’t get all excited. You and I both know you have plenty of growing to do. 😛

 

IMG_20170321_185110464.jpg

Pretty in Pink in Yorktown (I make the names up :D)

First, I’ll tell you what this person didn’t have.

What this person (the one you should compare yourself to) didn’t have:

This person didn’t have the most money.

He didn’t have the latest hiking gear.

He didn’t have the most successful dating relationships.

He was hated by most people.

He was loved at first and then treated like a loser, by some of the people closest to him.

People were nice to him so he could do things for them and get them free stuff but he loved them anyway. Unconditionally.

 

6359284354038911351714610876_34033-Love-Unconditionally.jpg

Now for what he did have.

What he did have:

And while you are reading, be comparing this man to yourself, and see how you measure up. It may take a while.

IMG_20170312_144121629.jpg

A tiny flower by the James River

He had a heart of love, not darkness ❤

He was grateful for all he had, knowing each breath is a gift

He trusted that the outcome of a storm would always be a rainbow or provide more growth.

He never dwelt on what he could not change … I love the word dwelt. Isn’t it great??!

He was able to look past people’s facades and images of success and happiness, knowing what every person craved and needed in their heart, and his desire was to help people meet that need: of love.

IMG_20170321_185507230_HDR

York River

joy

His words brought life, joy, and clarity.

He spread joy to others wherever he went.

His joy brought out the best in others.

Instead of tearing people down,

he built people up

always

IMG_20170321_191107126IMG_20170321_191116724IMG_20170321_191125473_TOPIMG_20170321_191129868IMG_20170321_191141160

York River

He was so incredibly calming.

Whenever somebody needed a shoulder to cry on, a place to take refuge, or a listening ear, he would be that person. He didn’t complain or lash out or shrug people off.

He was always approachable.

In fact, he was magnetic. People were drawn to him wherever he went. And he had the power to fill whoever came to him with incredible peace.

❤ 🙂 ❤

He didn’t force anybody to do anything, but gently and lovingly approached all people and situations.

~

~

~

He spoke truth to his brothers and friends when they were in trouble and helped them overcome their struggles.

He never enabled anyone to do something that was harmful to themselves or others. He was never thinking about getting ahead or beating somebody at something. He was seeking love and unity.

He never held onto bitterness or resentment towards people that hurt him, but forgave them fully and immediately. Immediately.

~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~

The only person

we should ever compare ourselves to

is

IMG_20170321_191209816

Sunset over the York River

J e s u s

JESUS.jpeg

He was the perfect human.

He is the only one who has ever, can ever and will ever set the standard for how we should live our lives.

Lovingly teaching others.

Keeping short accounts of what people have done wrong to us, and forgiving others for their faults, well aware that we are so faulty ourselves.

He wasn’t taken by surprise when people fell short; he loved them anyway.

10679724_10152694059326013_2554308428861240903_o.jpg

If you don’t know Jesus, believe me when I say this:

I’ve been getting to know him for almost two years now, and the truth is, learning about Jesus and trying to become more like him is the most noteworthy thing I have ever done. It’s way cooler than any mountain I’ve climbed, trip I’ve gone on, or experience I’ve experienced.

10704220_10154652991890704_5594935731326256285_o

Jesus is the ultimate role model

& the more I find out about him, the more I realize how important it is to know him.

The more you know about Jesus,

the more you want to become like him.

Jesus is the only one worth comparing ourselves to. He is perfect. None of y’alls brothers, sisters, bosses, coworkers, friends, girlfriends or boyfriends are perfect. They are all human; AKA heavily flawed. They may go on some cool trips or have some fancy possessions or beautiful significant others, but they are trying to figure out how to navigate this journey of life the same as your are.

Raise your standard.

Raise the bar.

Compare yourself to the Risen King.

If you don’t know about Jesus, I recommend getting to know him.

Love you all!

xoV

Advertisements

Bird Facts for Dummies

I’d like to start off by saying I don’t know a thing about birds. I see people who know their birds and wonder how the heck they know that stuff. I never studied birds, and I frankly don’t think about birds all too often. Kinda like I don’t think about dogs or lizards or cats or gophers. They all exist, but I don’t think about them. Animals have never been my passion. But today, I learned a thing or two about red-breasted robins.

img_20170303_102054778

 

Robins like to dance. They like to play. Their legs are built to hop, and are naturally very muscular. They hop from branch to branch and in the grass when it’s too tall to see over. They can walk or hop, and sometimes they hop just for fun. Isn’t that cool? I hop just for fun sometimes too. And I have naturally muscular legs. My mom used to call them Amazon-woman legs. I forgive you mom. You didn’t know that I was built to hop.

img_20170303_102142967

The truth is, I was having a rough morning this morning and wasn’t sure how to get over it. I was frustrated with more than one person and feeling heated physically and mentally, and maybe had too much coffee to drink. After journaling, praying, and talking about it I wasn’t sure what to do.

 

Lord, I need you. I can’t do this.

 

And I looked up, away from the caked muffin tin I was scrubbing and out  the window … and I saw this guy.

IMG_20170303_103737(1).jpg

The red-breasted robin, also known as the “Turdus Migratorius” is in the Turdidae family, Turdus genus, and migratorious species.

I love how “turd” is in his name.

I know, I’m five. :~)

^_^

img_20170303_103201

 

Camellia in full bloom!

And I watched this robin and his best friend dance with each other. Ralph (Robin #1) and Ronnie (Robin #2) mirrored each other. Ralph took a few steps forward. Then Ronnie took  a few steps forward. Ralph hopped a few steps to the left. And Ronnie followed. Ralph stepped towards Ronnie and looked left. Ronnie stepped towards Ralph and looked right.

Ralph is the leader in this situation. Whatever Ralph does, Ronnie does after. That’s how human relationships can be. Leaders and followers.

But then Ronnie did a backwards thing. He started towards the right, and Ralph followed him. The next few moves were done by the opposite bird. I was confused. So God said

I can teach you in all things and through all things. You’ve just got to look up and listen.

Here I was, having a rough morning, focusing on what was wrong in my life and how uncomfortable I was, and God starts teaching me a lesson with two Robins in the yard.

“You know the way to the place where I am going”

John 14:4

This was the verse of the day on my bible application. And it reminded me, in conjunction with seeing the birds dance, that sometimes all we gotta do is look up.

img_20170303_103003184

Because I looked up, I saw the robins.

I saw the camellias.

I went outside barefoot and took pictures.

I came inside and researched robins.

I learned that robins hop just for fun sometimes.

And I saw that sometimes robins lead, and sometimes robins follow. And just when we think we’ve got it all figured out, life surprises us.

Thank you Lord for using some of your intricate creation to teach me. Thank you for pulling me out of my funk and brightening my day with a couple of hoppin’ robins! Thank you for your unpredictability, spontaneity, creativity, and beauty.

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

xoV