To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing it’s best, night and day,
to make you everybody else means to
fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight;
and never stop fighting.
~ e.e. cummings
A few months back, my sister-in-law wrote a post about the dangerous path of comparison. When I read it the first time, I felt as though she could somehow read my thoughts. Judah was just born, major transition was unfolding itself every single day, and all I could think about was other (new) moms and how they seemed to handle/cope/learn things. I had opened the window and let the thoughts and attitude of comparison waft [waft: a term to describe scents that have diffused into other parts of the room] around me.
Realizing my comparative heart, I resolved to not let it drive me or my emotions down that negative road.
Fast forward a bit … it’s September and I’ve started to feel bummed again. Not because summer is over. Not because I get to be Matt’s girl and Judah’s mama forever. Not because I’m not loved or supported by family and friends. It’s because I’ve been allowing myself to feel weighted and discouraged (again) because of the comparisons I’ve been making with:
– other women
– my life in the past
and with meeting the expectations of:
– what the “world” thinks of me
– this utopian-wife/mama that I’ve imagined could exist
Fawne wrote, “We have to stop comparing. It’s deadly.” William Shakespeare* also expressed, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.”
I’ve again allowed this poison to waft in my heart room. I’ve let it linger too long and no longer do I want to have it here. This is not living in freedom …
“Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit [freedom], let us make sure we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” ~ galatians 5:25-26 – the message
We have far more interesting things to do with our lives.
That is not only truth, but encouragement! Why waste our life trying to live to a standard we weren’t even created for? The only similarities we have journeying through life are: we each have our own lives to live and enjoy; and we are free as we live it.
Poison is not something I would choose to physically eat … so, why do I sometimes choose to pollute my heart and mind with poison? Comparison is a choice, with a dead result. Freedom is also a choice, with LIFE as the outcome. I shouldn’t teeter on what to live by when the product is so clear.
I challenge you to look at your life today. Maybe you don’t partake in the same poison I can get caught up in, maybe you do. Your wafting poison may not be something visibly obvious to you or others, but it still is eating away in your heart room and not producing real freedom. Think about what areas of your life you feel stuck, weighed down, bound, lifeless … that is where your poison lies.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM…”
~ 2 corinthians 3:17 – the message
pic pix: summer landscape in Calgary – indeed original, Jun.2012, Calgary, AB