Happy weekend! This post was for yesterday but a few different events throughout the day made me postpone it to today. I hope you’re having lovely Saturday! We were graced with a bit more snow but I saw the more devastating effects of another unpredictable weather (non)pattern down south. Sad. Weird.
March is kind of a big deal around here… it’s the month the Mr. and I started dating, the month we got engaged AND the month we tied the knot! Pretty simple and secure way to remember it all! This year (March 8th) we’ll be celebrating our 4th anniversary! I have some fabulous blast-from-the-past photo posts brewing for next week.
We’ve also been working on something MAJOR and next time you come visit, things around here will look drastically different. I’m jollity just thinking about revealing it to you! Stay tuned!
So… the past two weeks I’ve noticed a bit of a theme on almost all the blogs that I keep up with and that is one of comparison, the fight to be who we each are, staying true to ourselves and instead of wishing for the abilities of others, to enjoy and use the ones we have! As you know, this is a huge point for me and this blog. I want to encourage YOU to always be YOU, and not focus on what you’re “missing” that someone else has got.
This is not easy! I’ll be the first to admit that comparison comes all too easily to us females! We compare E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Of course, each of us deals with this struggle on a different level. (Perhaps we even compare our struggles with comparison!) We compare fashion styles, cooking abilities, talents, creativeness, decorating talent, hostessing skills, and much, much more! In the blog world, it’s comparing posts and creative writing ability or the fact that we often only see the sunny-side-up of others’ lives showcased.
I used to struggle big time with comparison of talents. I think I’ve somewhat conquered this and have been able to celebrate my own talents and abilities rather than wish for someone else’s. For example, when I met the Mr. and realized he is musical, I used to pray my heart out for God to change my non-ability to sing well and give me an amazing voice that others would desire to hear and almost be jealous of. How horrible is that! But I think it’s true – we often desire the talent of someone else so we can be as good or better than they are at it. Lots of prayer and growing in life brought me to a place of realizing I will NEVER be a great singer. I wasn’t designed that way and that’s A-OK with me! But I tell ya, it’s so hard to dwell in that place.
Another area is fashion. For the most part, I don’t care about the latest trends or the hottest styles. But, my best friend Becky is a freelance Stylist and Personal Shopper at J.Crew. She’s an amazingly dressed + perfectly accessorized fashionista! So cute, ALL.the.time. Her style is lovely and her beautiful passion is to help make her clients (&friends) feel gorgeous and confident. I LOVE that about her. (Plus, she loves to go shopping with me – nothing’s better than someone who understand your style and will just take the $ and pick out perfect things for yoU!) If I’m honest, there have been times in the past when if I was meeting up with her I’d spend extra time thinking about my outfit and trying to make it better than others I’ve worn that week. It took a while for my head to catch up with the known fact that she doesn’t care or base our friendship on the critique of my outfits! I love her advice and her ability to match the perfect blend of personal style with trends! I don’t have that ability, I’m not a big accessory gal but I can take joy and celebrate HER talent in that area.
Those are just two example of the struggle of comparison and what I’ve learned from each. I share those because I think the root of beating this ugly beast of comparing ourselves to others isn’t just telling yourself to stop. But I think it’s to focus on celebrating the abilities, talents and gifts of others. If you can focus on being thankful others are made unique and everyone is good at something, then you spend less time wanting it yourself.
In fact, it’s so much more delightful to know that you have friends surrounding you that can call cover an area of life – sure I can learn different things from other’s abilities but I want to celebrate their uniqueness and if I’m just wishing to be like them, that takes away from them as much as it takes away from me. The quote floating around Pinterest and the blog world as of late is,
“COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY”
Oh how true those words ring in our ears. As we enJOY the special things each of those around us is capable of, we spend less time focused on wanting what they have been gifted with and more time pulling out their abilities as we ask them to use those in our lives.
For me, I have a hubby that plays and sings wonderfully and can teach me about music and answer my questions; I had a best friend that can help me shop for the perfect outfit and decorate my house; I have a neighbor who can sew craft projects that I don’t have the desire/time to do, I have a sister who belongs on the Food Network with her mad cooking skills and passion; I have a Mom who is an amazing photographer; I have friends who have hours to spend putting together the perfect blog posts of trendy treats. I want to CELEBRATE that about each of them and use it to my advantage in my life. If I could do all those things myself, I wouldn’t get to hang out with them or appreciate them as much as I can now.
And me… what CAN I do well? I think I’m good at encouraging others, I think I can be a pretty good writer, I know I have the ability to love on others and be sensitive to their needs and help fulfill them. I have a passion for photography but don’t always take the best shots… but I celebrate the great ones I do take. I love having mentoring relationships with teens. I can create good meals. I think I’m a pretty good mama to Lil’ Miss. I help people have fun and can bring a smile to another’s face to change their day for a moment or more. I’ve had to realize that most of my talents are not visible talents per se (such as singing, fashionista, uber-creative) but more internal, or seen through my actions or more one-on-one. I think it’s harder for those of us whose talents are more hidden from the outward expressions to felt talented often, but you are! Take it from someone who is right there with ya!
Take a moment, or an hour and think about (I’m a fan of lists, so put it in a list so you can see it!) all the things you are GOOD at, things you KNOW you have the ability to do well, things others have told you that you do well and they appreciate about you.
YOU are beautiful,
YOU are talented,
YOU put together cute outfits all the time,
YOU say the right things at the right time,
YOU make other feel special,
YOU have talent,
Something that I cat leave out of this post as it’s hand-in-hand with this messy thing called comparison is learning to accept compliments. It seems simple yet it took me years to realize the importance! Mr. actually taught me during our first few years together (one that my Mom had continually tried to teach me as a teen and I never actually got right). When you choose to negate a compliment that has been given to you, you are proclaiming that the person who gave you the compliment is wrong in their thinking, or more bluntly – you’re calling them a liar.
So very often us ladies find it all too easy to put off what someone compliments us on. Someone says, “You look so good today.” We reply (with full on un-approving smirk) “Oh, now I just ran out the door and feel like a mess.” Or your own hubby may tell you that you cooked a great meal and you’ll give 10 different reasons why it wasn’t perfect or didn’t deserve that compliment. I’m sure not everyone deals with this struggle but I think “we’re not good enough” is wound around our minds so tightly that it’s hard to just say Thank You sometimes. More than a verbal response – do we actually BELIEVE what this person is saying? Choosing to believe the compliments and not hold them up in comparison to someone else has to be learned! A re-wiring is required.
Choose to rewire!
the things YOU do well,
the talents, abilities and gifts of your friends & others
the compliments that others desire to bless your life with!
I challenge each of my readers to leave a comment with three things YOU know you do well!
(A talent, gift, ability, passion you have, etc)
Thanks for popping by today!
Disclaimer: I do not in any way claim to be an expert at any of this! I’m just a girl struggling through the same things as you in my own little way! I hope this will only encourage you to continue conquering these struggles!