I’ve had this on my mind a lot. (ha! Do I always say that?) I’m pretty sure this blog has let me get better sleep at night because I can release my random thoughts somewhere!
But for real. I’ve been thinking of this topic and it’s a hard one to even admit because it’s something that I’m constantly working on. It may or may not apply to you, and if you’re amazing at this… teach us all your ways!
DISCLAIMER: This is in no way a post to make anyone feel guilty, just something to think about when we raise our kids.
I was talking to my sister the other day about how my niece is progressing like crazy in gymnastics. She’s amazing! However, there is always that one girl who progresses faster than the rest of the bunch.(Isn’t that always the case?) My sister teaches her daughter that instead of feeling jealous, we need to be happy when someone else can nail a trick that we are working so hard towards.
I loved that because it’s as true to an almost 8 year old as it is to an 80 year old. Especially in the mom world. We are so quick to serve and make dinner for that person who is suffering, but how quick are we to roll our eyes, or have our hearts sink when someone else shares news that we’ve hoped for so long would happen to us? Whether it be a new house, job promotion, having a baby, winning the lottery… there’s a million blessings out there, right?
Can you relate? Or is it just me…
The reason I share this is because Holland nails it on the head when he said:
“…Envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving. Obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know! What a bright prospect that is—downing another quart of pickle juice every time anyone around you has a happy moment! To say nothing of the chagrin in the end, when we find that God really is both just and merciful, giving to all who stand with Him “all that he hath,”2 as the scripture says. So…Coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. It is a happy way to live.”
Everyone is given a different hand of cards. My mom tells me that sometimes it’s just “not your turn.” So don’t feel sorry for yourself if it’s not your turn, one day it will be! And in the mean time, why not share someone else’s joy by being excited for them!
I have a friend who has struggled with years of infertility. One thing she said to me awhile ago was, “When you get pregnant, will you please tell me? Because I want to share your joy and celebrate with you.” Even if a heart was breaking behind that sentence, I knew she meant every word. I look up to her so much and have never met anyone more selfless.
I think it’s time to end the comparisons and the “keeping up with the Joneses” attitude. You are doing great. Be proud of yourself. Don’t let another persons “perfect” life make you feel like yours is a dud. It’s not. And if it is, you have all the power in the world to change it. Create your own happiness for you, not as a show for anyone else. Because in the end, all that really matters is how you played the hand of cards you were dealt. Even if you have a crappy hand, you can still have a wonderful life. And if that’s how you choose to play, it’s a game you will never lose.