I have a lot of really talented friends. Like really talented, y’all.
One of my friends is an amazing singer. She was a vocal major in college. She teaches music. She sang amazing solos in church when I was growing up.
I sing. I even sing well. I’m not an amazing singer though. Growing up I just wanted people to be amazed by me the way they were by her. I loved her like a sister, but I could never measure up. Someone I respected even said once (not knowing my inner demons), “you and x sing really well, but you’ll never be as good as y.” (Just throwing down letters cuz you know…lol…protecting the innocent). That one comment made me never want to try again. I knew he was right. I’d never be that good, so why try?
I have friends who are really pretty and thin and look perfect on the outside. I’m not ugly but I’m not these things. But if I really look, they worked hard for a lot of what they have, even though some was genetic. I’m not sure I’m willing to work that hard. The fact that the gym is a place I hate so much coupled with the demon PCOS which means even if I work hard, nothing may change, means I know I’m not gonna be at the gym every day.
In fact I have a friend who is in the gym every single day, sometimes several times. She works hard for what she’s trying to accomplish. I don’t understand that life and I’m not willing to do that. But I admire her dedication to something. (She’s a body builder…just so you don’t think that is weirder than necessary). I know I need to drag myself in there a few times a week, but…ya. Maybe next week.
“Comparison is a thief of joy.” (Theodore Roosevelt).
I struggle with this so much though. I am constantly comparing myself to other people, and when I don’t measure up, my natural tendency is to give up.
I’ve always compared myself. Even in my own family, my brothers are more fun than me. I mean one is super spontaneous and has no filter. He’s the life of the party sometimes. I can’t be like him. It’s not in MY genetics the way it is in his. He’s also super intelligent, like doesn’t have to work for it intelligent. I’m smart, but I work for what I achieve and know. He’s also super mechanically inclined, and I’m super mechanically inept. (This one I’m fine with).
My other brother is really good with money and acting and singing. I’m terrible with money and decent at acting and singing, but he’ll always be better. He’s also managed to get married and have children, so clearly he’s better at life than me. (This is said somewhat sarcastically and somewhat not. At one point that was the goal.)
I have friends who can take all of life’s adversity with a grain of salt. I don’t know how they do it. At the first sign of trouble, I’m in high alert and getting a little crazy. They seem to always be in control even when they aren’t. I have the need for control so much that if something spins out a little bit, I tend to react instead of calmly figuring out what to do next. And sometimes I’m jealous of their ability to handle all things with grace. Because I can handle some things with grace, but this red-headed temper….I’m just saying.
But I have talents and gifts. I have a unique set of experiences and personality traits. Am I ever going to be the best at anything? I mean probably not the best in the world. That would be impressive. Why do I feel the need to be the best and set up unachievable goals for myself? Why do I want to quit when I can’t be the best?
The above quote really hit home to me tonight. If I really understood who God wanted me to be, would I still strive to be like other people? Or would I stop striving for the unattainable and start striving to be the best me I can be. Why am I comparing myself to anyone but myself??
I have a friend that’s super nice. I mean like I literally thought looking at her the other day, is she really that nice on the inside? I feel bad for saying that, but I’m just so in awe of that facet of her personality. Let’s face it, I’m never going to be the nicest one of any group. I’m nice, but this tendency for letting my emotions be evident on my face, saying exactly what I think, and then there’s this sarcasm. People don’t all appreciate the intent of the message. As I get older, I find myself being less forgiving. I’m working on it. While I think she is honestly and genuinely just that nice. Which is still weird to me.
And that’s the key I think. I need to stop comparing myself to other people, even people I dearly love. I need to examine myself and see the areas I need to improve and work on being better than me.
Can I sing? Yup and I can continue singing for the Lord even if someone else is better. Can I be funny? I mean I like to think so. I can continue to find the humor in life even when someone else is funnier. Can I be nice? I don’t know…I hope so. Like I said, I’m working on it.
I have a unique skill set and talents that God wants to use. If I let the enemy continue to take me down the slippery slope of comparison, I’ll be so beat down that God won’t be able to use me.
I want to be whoever it is God designed me to be and not try to be anything else. I want to find out who that person is and be the best me I can be to bring glory to Him. Life has challenges, but God can use my unique challenges for His good, if I only get out of my own head and let Him do the work He’s started in me.
My friends and their amazing gifts make me better. I hope they’ll one day be able to say the same of me.