I realize that I’m not in the majority here, but there it is.
Being different is not a character flaw, although I used to think it was. It’s hard when you don’t fit into the norm (or whatever they’re calling the norm these days).
I realized a long time ago that there was a possibility that I didn’t think like other people. My way of looking at things is not always the same. Even when it pertains to the physical aspects of things.
Take color for example.
Have you ever wondered about color? I mean, how could you not have wondered? Does the green that I see when I see green look the same as the green that you see when you see green?
That kind of thing.
I mean, HOW DO WE KNOW?
I can’t see out of your eyes, and you can’t see out of mine.
I believe that a great deal of life centers around our own perceptions of it, and that we are limited by our own realities.
I also believe that to a point, we create our own realities or live in realities that we allow others to create for us.
When we’re children, we haven’t been talked out of all our abilities yet. There are things we can see and do that are unexplained but still true. The following illustration is an excerpt out of a kid’s book I’m writing, but also a true story from my childhood:
That’s just one example of seeing something that no one else can see. If it’s possible as a child, surely it’s possible once you’re an adult!
We all have gifts and abilities that we’re born with. Whether we keep them to adulthood largely depends on whether we have the opportunity and the guts to use them.
To me, it seems as if the world is put together in bits of color.
If I could be a true artist, I’d grab those bits of color with my paint brush and put them to canvas. I do the best I can with the abilities that I have.
I wish everyone could see the way I see.
I’m also different than most in how I show my feelings.
I cry over sappy things and serious ones. I cry the hardest over happy endings because I know in my heart that those rarely happen.
For a long while, I let myself become hardened and wouldn’t show anyone who I really was. It shamed me to have real emotion. Catastrophe has turned my world upside down though. Instead of hiding my tears from others, I cry with them through their own pain. Not usually on purpose—it just happens.
People with heartbreak seem to gravitate to me. It’s like they know they’re safe to cry with me. I find that one of the biggest blessings of my life, and one of the hardest burdens to carry. Grief was never a ministry I wanted.
I’ve found that the most imperfect things on this planet are often the most beautiful. That goes for people too. What a man (or woman) is on the outside doesn’t always correspond with who they are on the inside. A pretty face doesn’t mean a pretty heart.
It’s okay to be you. I’m good with being me.
It’s taken me a lot of years to become who I am. I’m not saying that I’ve arrived at the place I need to be. It’s still a journey. I’m good with the path I’m on though.
And I have my own style—the way I talk and dress—those things are all me!
There’s nothing wrong with fashions and trends, I’m just not a crowd follower. I like what I like and I don’t like what I don’t like.
In this world of influence and social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparison. Teddy Roosevelt told us a long time ago that “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and I believe that reality speaks for itself when you look at the increasing number of teen suicides since the invention of certain social apps that are being used as bullying tools. Here are a few truths to fight back against that old stealer of joy:
God created YOU to be YOU! He gave each of us a
unique set of gifts and talents to be used for HIS glory. You are the only
person who was designed to be exactly like you—so be that! And be that BEST YOU
that you can be!
What you see on SOCIAL MEDIA isn’t real. Faces are airbrushed. Backgrounds are blurred. Vacations are faked. Waists are slimmed. Lots of things are made to appear one way when they are just the opposite! Isn’t it better to be authentic than to wear a mask for the rest of the world to see?
We ALL fall short of what we could be! It would be great if we all lived up to our potential, but clearly, we don’t. If someone is pointing out what they perceive to be YOUR shortcomings, it’s probably just to take attention off their own.
You may not really want what you think you want. Think about what it would REALLY mean for your life if you had the things THEY seem to have! What if you had that dream job? How much time would you have to spend away from your precious family? What if you had all their money? Would you really know who your friends were at the end of the day? How about that car? Okay, maybe it WOULD be cool if you had that CAR! Okay then! Quit wishing and start figuring out what it would take to earn the money to buy it!
know that it is self-defeating, here are several things you can do to get out
of the comparison trap and start to lead a more productive life:
a. Work on being a better YOU!
We could ALL use improvement, remember? You don’t have to make a huge goal.
Just try to be better than you were yesterday! Stretch yourself a little
further every day. Take more risks toward a better future!
b. Tend to your health. Start
eating better. Make one healthy food choice at a time. Take the stairs more
often. Walk across the parking lot instead of parking as close to the door as possible.
Drink more water.
c. Practice humility and
gratitude. You will be amazed at what a difference it makes in your life to
just take the time to be grateful for all you have.
d. Give others more of your
time, energy, money, and resources. You will be blessed more than they will.
e. Get rid of things cluttering
up your life. Do you really need that porcelain figurine from 1976? Are you
ever going to fit in those jeans again? I’m sorry to tell you that the answer
to both of those questions is probably NO!
f. Love more.
g. Go to church.
h. Pray and read your Bible (if
you don’t have one, go get one).
i. Journal. Writing your feelings down helps you sort them out and is extremely helpful when trying to work through situational anxiety.
j. Paint, draw, take photos, or do anything artistic! You will be so busy that you won’t have time to compare yourself to ANYBODY. Also, you will have accomplished something wonderful (no matter how it turns out)!
Hope these tips help the next time you’re tempted to compare yourself or
your life to someone else! Remember, the most important thing that you can be