Warning: Confession ahead. I need to go to C.A. (Comparer’s Anonymous) and quick before I let this ugly thing rob me anymore. Comparing is such a selfish act as someone reminded me this morning and you see I am on this journey to become someone who is selfless not selfish yet my actions in the way of comparing have steered me in the wrong direction, so my friends it is time to re-route. Sometimes I picture God banging His head against a wall when my name pops up, thinking “how many times will she be shown before she gets it.” I’m exhausting, I get that, my husband gets that and guess what…I own it and I am thankful that the God I serve has grace and mercy that covers me and loves me far to much to leave me the way that I am. So hang with me I promise I have been given some insight on this issue/struggle I have and I’m guessing if we are all honest we all can say we all have.
So this morning’s message finished our our series at church called “I Quit” and today was “I Quit Comparing.” Reflecting on this message this evening and how I can directly apply it to my life (and the realization that I should google C.A.) inspired me to think on how I could help other’s apply it to their lives and immediately I thought of my students and future students of the arts center but first this thought applies in anyone’s life, young or old in my opinion. So many people today (me included) compare rather than recognize. And friends let me tell you there is a HUGE difference between comparing and recognizing. When we compare ourselves to lady in front of us at the grocery store we are chipping away a part of who were were created to be. When we compare our children to our neighbor’s children we are chipping away a part of who they were created to be. When we compare our husbands to our friend’s husband who just left her we are chipping away at our marriage as pride is a deal breaker. Are we on the same page yet? Here is where this thought gets me as I type. I think about the amount of time I have spent comparing myself and my loved ones and how much chipping and damage I have done to the person God created me to be. Woah. Ok. Deep breath.
So what can we do about it. We can recognize. Recognize first that comparing is incredible destructive on every level, large or small. We can recognize that we are a beautiful work in progress and God loves us right where we are. We can recognize that other people are also a beautiful work in progress and God loves them right where they are at. We can recognize that each day is a new day to learn, a new day to be challenged, a new day to grow and a new day to love ourselves just as it is intended to be.
This realization is also something so important for me as a leader of young people in the arts. Competition can do one of two things. It can challenge you or it can destroy you and I think the difference here is recognition vs comparison. When we recognize someone else’s talents we can appreciate them and find the fire within ourselves to be challenged, to learn, and to grow. When we compare our talents with someone else’s talents we are filling ourselves with envy and honestly ugliness. I am a firm believer that it comes from the top so if we ourselves are comparing each other and our children to other children then our children will learn to do the same and teach the same in turn creating this awful vicious cycle. This breaks my heart people and I am recognizing that I have been a part of this vicious epidemic in our society and I will not stand for it anymore. This is me loving myself where I am at. Incredibly flawed. Filled with humility. Forever thankful. I hope you will join me in a feverish effort to quit comparing. Now I am on board with you that this quit comparing thing will not be easy but I promise it will be a game changer.