Sunday, June 24, 2012

The comparing trap... Part 4

Comparing myself to anybody takes ALL the joy, beauty and creativity out of life.  

 The past couple weeks I keep seeing posts and quotes about this.


Comparing.

Thinking on comparing this morning, something started to unfold in me.
Revealing ways I hadn't seen before that I compare myself.

My tendency is to think that when I compare, it is in the body department...or the talents department...or the stuff/possessions department.

Well for me NOW,  these are easy peasy departments for me. :)
I don't find that I compare in these ways anymore.
I used to ALOT..but not anymore.
I was actually kinda proud of my UNcomparing..thankyou very much!

But today, a whole new stirring started to happen in me...
And a bunch of new areas came popping up.


~ The "belief" department.. (no surprise right? )
In the past I would compare my new freedom and beliefs about this God of Love that I am getting to know to religious folks.
Whether I was right or wrong to believe so good about God? That I was being to mushy maybe?

But this morning I noticed a flip in this.

I have started to compare my beliefs and relationship with God to all my out of the box, non- churchy friends.
Freedom friends who may feel more freedom to experience God in other ways that I am not comfortable with.
Wondering if I need to stretch myself more to be like them.
Or the fact that I still love worship music, is that ok?
Is that me holding on to something that I shouldn't?
Am I doing it right in the non-religious department as well?
Are my beliefs as non-religious as they "should" be?
Am I doing. it. right?
:)


Wow! Where did that come from??

Oh Amy Amy Amy.... my addiction to being in the "right" club rears it's ugly head again ;)


~ Another area that came up is the art and creativity department.
I have friends that are very poetic writers, amazing painters of color and images, crazy amazing with their words... and as a writer/blogger I have found myself feeling "left out" of the creative box because I don't express myself in that way.
Feeling inadequate. Feeling less then.

~ In the "what does my life look like compared to other's life" department.
I don't have a home right now that is my own... my hub is still jobless, and look look look at ALL the people that do. I can't put my kids into sports or extra curricular activities because of lack of fundage. We have had to resort to using food stamps... and look at that lady ahead of me..she is using a debit card.
I must be doing THIS wrong too.

~ In the blogging department. 
I don't blog enough. I am not eloquent enough. I am not poetic enough. I don't post enough pictures. I am such a crappy blogger. Look at her.. and him...

~ In the commenting department.
I don't comment like I should. People are going to feel I am not a good friend. People are not going to come to my blog if I don't comment more. I should comment better like her. Look what a great blog friend SHE is because she comments.


~ In the photography department.
I am not taking enough pictures. Mine don't look as good as yours. I wish I could do what they do. My equipment needs to be updated like hers.. what lens is that? Gah, if only I too had that lens then my photography would be amazing. I wish I could have as many bookings her her? What am I doing wrong?


~ In the marriage department.
How easy it is to compare my relationship with my hub to other relationships. other marriages that "look" like they have it all together. I am not going on enough dates with hub.. I am not rubbing his shoulders enough... I forgot to make his lunch today.. a good wife doesn't forget...ugh.

~ In the sex department.
Is this ok and "right" in God's eyes? Am I sexy enough? Is it really ok for me just be me in this department? What if this? and What if that?

Am I doing. THIS. right?
ugh.

~ In the "mommy'ing" department.
I wish I had more patience like her.. look how kindly she always speaks to her children. Or why do I want to be alone and away from my kids, when look at her, she must always want to be with her kids.
I suck at parenting. I wish I was more like..blah blah.. they are an amazing parent.


~ In the friend department.
I am not a good friend because I don't call or write like I should. People who are good friends do that.
Look at her, she is such a great friend. She must call her friends at least once a week.

~ In the media consumption department.
I am on my phone too much, she doesn't look at her phone as much as I do.
I need to stop sitting in front of the computer for so long.
Guilt guilt... critical critical critical.

~ In the cooking department. 
I made frozen pizza twice this past week, what's wrong with me. My friend does 2 healthy green smoothies for her family every day.. AND juices for them too.



~ In the home keeping department.


~ In the working mom department.


~ In the daughter and sister department.


~ In the exercise department.


~ In the keeping up my hair and clothes department.



~ In the blah blah blah blah blah department!! 


O my gosh! It's ridiculous, isn't it?

Something that Papa uncovered in this whole crazy comparing cycle is the root of it in me always comes back to this one little lie that rolls into this one little question...

The lie :  "You are doing it wrong. Amy, everything about you is wrong."

Which rolls into me constantly asking myself THIS question..

The question: "Am I doing it right?" "What is right?"
And away I goooo... down a big hill of doubt and second guessing myself.
Comparing myself to people that look "right".

"Just show me what is right, and I will do it.. i don't want to be wrong. To be wrong is displeasing and not lovely. O God, I don't want to be wrong... I don't want to be unlovely...or displeasing."

It's just wild to me how something like comparing has such a deep seeded lie that I struggle against.
That lie has had many different faces, and I am so glad that my God is about wholeness :)


I think rightness for me was such a safe place. It brought me a false sense of security for a very long time.
If I was in the right place, doing this and that right, worshiping God right..etc... it brought me definition to all things that I deemed scary or shaky, therefore bringing me security.

But "rightness" isn't definite. I have realized, "rightness" is individual.

What is right for me, might not feel right to you.



 
When I compare I am walking right into a trap that will snatch me up into a cycle that will permeate ALL areas of my life.

I will second guess myself, and trade in the treasure of my heart to become what I think you must know better and do better and look better then I. 

I will lose me.
I will keep the gorgeous gift of myself hidden way down deep from my family, friends and the world who desperately need me to BE me.




Truth is...
I wasn't born to ever compare myself to ANYbody!
I WAS born to LIVE this gift of LIFE to the fullest and BE the beautiful creation that I AM.
Wholly and entirely ME!


THERE.
IS.
NO.
COMPARISON!

None. 

IN ALL THE DEPARTMENTS!

There will never be another you.
And there will never be another me.
We WILL do everything IN the flavor of who we are.
And that is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good!

We are ALL so beautiful and so unique just like the Creator who's very image we bear.

I am seriously speaking to myself here.
But I have a strong suspicious that I am not the only one who struggles with this. ;)


A very big relief came over me after this "ah ha" moment and a permission to let go of comparing in all departments.

I cannot live life alive and to the fullest AND have comparison constantly going on at the same time.
It cannot happen.
One is built to cause me to soar, while the other is built to cause me to sink.
They canNOT co-exist together.

Be free today, oh my heart.
Be free today, my friends.
Be free to BE you, in the beauty of ALL you are.
The shining and sparkly soul that you are.

You. Are. Enough.

Be wholly you. We need you. All of you, and what you bring to this world.


xoxo

Amy

22 comments:

  1. your strong suspicion that you were not the only one is TRUE.. omg, did you sneak a peek at my diary by my bed???? lol i'm doing the same thing... in fact, i took my blog down for awhile until i can just completely be me.. not that i'm not but it's a struggle lately to bring my inner stuff out. Im doing a LOT of comparing in all the areas you mentioned. nope, you are definitely not the only one. Yes, we are enough.. when will it sink in I wonder??? love to you xoxoxo

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  2. oh! and because I knew family was reading me ( not so smart to have them have my link when we dont always see eye to eye on things and i end up explaining, no, I'm not ill, this is me) i write here now... http://asacredsearch.wordpress.com/

    Not too many posts yet and I still haven't figured how i want to write but still you're welcome to my space always :) it's only family I want emotional space from, isn't that weird?. :)

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    1. Man, family just has a way of pushing buttons...deeply. ugh.

      I soooo understand having a safe place to hash out life and encircle yourself with people that are for you, and cheer you on in your journey <3

      I am bookmarkin' ya, chicka! Thankyou for updating me on your new space!

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    2. Love you, Glynis! Beautiful, sparkly friend!

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  3. I can totally echo everything this commenter has said above me! haha even down to closing my blog!!
    ugh
    I'm fully stuck in a huge comparing trap right now too.

    and get you so much on the belief comparing thing too, I have found myself wondering lately if the whole "non-religousity" thing can be (at times) just as stupid AS blatant religious attitudes when it gets over the top!
    like people become SO focused on being "out of the box" that it consumes their whole way of thinking.....I find it hard to explain what I'm feeling about it in words just yet, but the thoughts pop up.

    X

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    1. Widge, I know, right?? It's funny but it's like it's another box.. lol!
      Oh how we love our little boxes. :)
      It really goes along with my little "right" box, eh? ugh. arg!
      I think I have lost it, and all of a sudden I feel Papa tap me on the shoulder, I look down and there it is again! ha ha!

      You are beautiful friend...shine and be free in all things..xo

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  4. Amy...I love your heart, and you have such an exquisitely beautiful and sensitive way of expressing yourself. I absolutely believe that what you wrote above (and all of your other blog posts and FB comments, too!) truly flow from your open, vulnerable, transparent, sincere heart of love. It is SO evident!

    I need to add one more "comparison" that I have taught, counseled others in, and preached for many, many years, which I now see as equally as DESTRUCTIVE as all of the others you listed...

    ...that of even COMPARING OURSELVES TO JESUS

    I used to hear and see people that were so full of themselves that they thought they were on the top of the heap in church, in knowledge, in spirituality, in gifts, in ... in ... , etc. I thought it was my responsibility as their pastor to confront them with the words, "you need to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God...if you want to compare yourself with anyone, compare yourself with Jesus...that will give you a reality check!" (very pastorally sensitive, huh? I know, but I really didn't know any better at the time, either). My aim was to give them an example that they simply couldn't/wouldn't be able to compare themselves to and come out on top. What I usually ended up doing was alienating them, which for them was probably a good thing. I wasn't showing them love, but was hoping that they would experience the "fall that follows pride" whereby they would see the error of their ways, repent, and cry for mercy. Whoa!! Yup...I used to do that. (Now) I don't believe that God wants us to feel condemned (for he certainly doesn't condemn us) even in our pride. Using the lofty, unattainable person/character/power/divinity to bring others down is the exact opposite of the heart of God. He gave the law out of his love for us and to impress upon us our inability to keep it, our need to simply accept and live in that love and grace apart from and above the law, and then from his same heart of love he GAVE to us the very righteousness of Jesus and called us sons and daughters, even IN all of our pride. So, for several years now I have never used that "compare yourself to Jesus" tactic to "humble" someone...and I am humbled by God's love and grace towards me simply by his showing me all of this in my own heart. Again, thank you for what you wrote. YOU BLESS ME !! - Ed Fernandez

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    1. Ed, this is so rich! I remember when the revelation of this truth hit my life. Whoa! It was a huge huge moment of freedom for me. That God does NOT expect me to be Him or Jesus or angel, but He that wants me to be wholly me.. wholly Amy. It was a HUGE ah ha moment for me!

      I am both human and being/spirit. God is spirit. I can never be God for that matter.
      the scripture that I had read over and over for years, and felt I fell short of constantly was this one..

      "Be holy as I am holy."... But now I realize the root of the word "holy" isn't perfection in the sense of sinless...but wholeness...perfectly WHOLE. :)
      And it really should read "Be wholly as I am wholly." ;)
      Be wholly me, just as Jesus was wholly Jesus :)

      You bless me, Ed! I am so grateful for your friendship and your heart!

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  5. Amy

    oh how I miss you. You are amazing and full of strength and light. I do the same things and understand. Just so you know I compare my parenting skills to yours because I think you are a wonderful parent, wife, friend, artist, etc... Keep on the path to your happiness because you help me to mine too. Xoxo

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    1. Ah Jules.. I love you! I am speechless to your words because I compare myself to YOU! lol! Isn't that crazy??
      sigh.
      Let's make a pact! You be the amazing mommy to Romi that she needs so very much for you to be.. and I will be the amazing mommy to my 3 loves that they need :) And that way we can enjoy life and each other!
      I love you! Can't wait to visit Austin one day... xoxo

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  6. love you, ames!
    and the ginormous heart that is YOU.
    (and btw, no one like you in the world. not a one.)

    <3

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    1. Stace! I love you.. you inspire me to be me, by you being all of you!

      muah! xo

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  7. Ok Missy- I MISSED Your voice BECAUSE your voice is so unique on here. It does not matter if you do not delve into poetry on every post or leave out pictures...I come here for whatever piece of yourself you manage to give...and it is all SOOOOOO good. Every little piece the way you can give it. That is what makes it special. That is why I love AMY.
    I get this though. I feel that way too sometimes. Freedom really is in isolating that though and allowing yourself to be beautifully flawed. Just keep reminding yourself that beauty is from mistakes not perfection. That you want to be friends with those who are allowed to fail so of course they would want to be friends with someone who is not perfect either. That is what I do at least:) Each time I am tempted to shut myself down in the blog world or real world...I remind myself that it is another form of fear and I need to push my vulnerability through, express it and become. Believe me- I am tempted to close both down a lot and just be a hermit...much easier...:) Although I get what Glynis says about family and already have to filter a bit...but then I realized also that it is my space and if they get insulted they can choose not to click. (I go back and forth) Of course I would make it private or different if some other family found it...so I get that. But my point is that we that grew up in that faith were taught to value perfection...and nothing less. The great thing is you have realized it, exposed it, and now are embracing yourself.. That is incredibly beautiful. I am inspired and awed by you. This was a great post:)
    Love

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    1. K! I love you friend.. thankyou for sharing this! Part of me feels Jekyll and Hyde'ish... I live in the confidence of being me, and other days I feel so small and less then... lol!
      It's a process of emerging I think.. I see me more and more.. and living in the confidence of that more and more.

      Love all you share!

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  8. you are you
    and
    I am me
    and that my friend
    is enough

    love this post
    as always

    love and light

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  9. Tee hee, I made frozen pizza twice this week too. And I am SUCH an introvert, (wanting to be alone away from the kids, comparing myself to people who have conversations easily and aren't wiped out after an outing...) Still figuring out how to just let go and be me, even if it isn't as talented or pretty or perfect as the me I sometimes think I'm supposed to be. And I always enjoy hearing your voice.

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    1. I hear you, Mel! I love your voice, friend.. and tho I might not always comment, I read every post!
      I think the process of coming back to you, and knowing yourself is a slow and healing process of letting go of all the stuff we were taught. All the definitions of what we were taught women "should" be, and embracing the freedom that we get to be who we ARE :)

      Loves to you!

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  10. sooo gooooood! needed to read this today! much to chew on and ponder... and look, i was even tempted to compare myself to all the commentators above me, because they all had such nice long comments full of insightful things! and i am low on words this morning, and all i wanted to say was i appreciated all your insights and i'm going to take this with me today. and tomorrow, etc, etc. so yeah, it sneaks in everywhere. i don't have to be insightful ALL the time. :P haha. love you, Ames. can't wait to meet you someday...we'll have nice long talks about stuff like this together. i feel like our hearts are very similar.

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    1. My kindred friend.. I feel the same of you! It will be one sweet day :)

      Freedom to be you, Rachel beauty friend :)

      xo muah

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  11. Hello friend
    I am back
    I have been pondering these things here much today
    comparison to others is such a dangerous thing as we put ourselves in a position of being less then
    we area all unique and yet all connected
    when we learn to see ourselves in others we learn the freedom of being ourselves
    when we learn to accept ourselves fully we will not feel the need to compare ourselves to others
    these things I believe to be true
    i know that I start comparing it is because I haven't given myself what it is I have needed....what ever that is
    if there is one thing I know
    it all starts with us : )
    and that concept took me a while to understand, without feeling like everything I was doing was somehow screwing things up

    and as far as you not being poetic enough or mother enough or plain enough
    friend...none of us are really ever enough and yet we are...lol...ya know?
    be you amy
    everyone who comes here ot this space comes because of that
    they seek out the gifts that you have and the words that you say
    we want to hear your heart songs
    not anyone else's
    this is why blogging can be so personal
    we all get to "know" each other as we follow one anothers words
    what you have to offer is unique to you
    and by the way
    i have found it to be VERY poetic at times!!!!
    Maybe all this comparing could be contributed to all the change and uncertainty you are living with right now
    you feel unsettled so maybe you go to a place of thinking there is something wrong with you
    that you need to improve
    that you are not enough and need to be more like others
    well just so you know
    friend
    and I know that you do
    others have shit on their doorstep too ; )

    Someone gave me some strong advice...a spritual mentor, last year...i was struggling with self doubt
    she told me plainly
    if I doubt myself
    then I am doubting God
    because God makes no mistakes in what God has Created
    that was plain and hit me right where it matters
    so that is where I go if I see myself straying to that place of self doubt, comparing myself to others etc.
    it all comes down to faith

    and for the record
    their are many hymns that I still love even though I do not attend a formal church : )

    your heart is beautiful
    trust that Aimes

    love to you
    love and light

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    1. Thankyou so much for coming back, gf! And sharing ALL of this! I sooooo hear and resonate with everything you said here.
      This area of comparison was a shock to me.. I honestly had NOT seen it, but would find myself aggitated after reading, or listening or viewing a friends life, blog, heart song, etc.. Never saw that the agitation was me comparing. This was a big light bulb moment for me. Totally shocked, but so grateful for God calling all of this out. These moments I LOVE because a greater freedom comes after walking it out.
      And more and more I am realizing that I am enough.
      You are enough.
      I have said, but I am reeeeally getting it now.

      And I think you are spot on.. being in this really raw space I think uncovered something that has been below the surface for a really long time. I am so grateful for it... as hard as it's been and as uncomfortable as it has been too.

      You words are life to my heart, and I draw them in. Thankyou for "seeing" me, and for being one of my biggest cheerleaders.

      muah
      xo

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