I used to compare our lives to others.
In an age where everything can be seen, shared, and reviewed in a matter of seconds, it was extremely easy to compare our lives to the seemingly “perfect” lives of everyone else.
I would look at the beautiful maternity photos.
The videos of baby’s first steps.
Perfect newborn photo shoots.
First bike rides.
Swimming lessons in the pool.
The pictures of other peoples kids…..kiddos without a massive scar on their chest.
Kids that didn’t have the same look that Callie has in her eyes. The look that says she understands far more than what she should…..simply because of the battles that she’s had to face.
Kids that didn’t grow up in the hospital. Kids that didn’t have the challenges Callie has.
I would look at the other parents and not see that anxious look that tended to live around my eyes. I would see how relaxed and carefree they seemed. Not worried that their baby would die in her sleep. Not worried about overwhelming hospital bills. Not stressed about juggling full time jobs, chronic disease management, and a special needs child.
And it would eat me up inside.
Jealousy……comparison. Whatever you wanted to call it. I was mentally tallying up the differences between our family and others. As if life was some sort of big accounting game, and I felt like our family was in the red.
Until I realized that the jealousy I was feeling was caused by counting other people’s blessings instead of my OWN.
I literally was too busy peeking in the window of other peoples lives to even notice all the amazing doors that had been opened for us. The doors that opened to blessings, to opportunities, to happiness, and to becoming a better person. Every minute that I spent wishing I had someone else’s life…..was a minute I spent wasting my own. How could I measure the success of our life with someone else’s ruler?
So I stopped.
I started to own those differences.
And I realize how many people’s lives we could make a difference in when we truly stopped comparing ourselves to them and embraced all that we were made to be.
I started to think about all that we were….instead of all that we weren’t.
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it…..it just blooms.
And that’s what we did.
We were never going to be like “them”…..and thank goodness for that because then the world would miss out on US.
The perfectly imperfect us.
The quirky us.
The strong us.
The beautiful us.
The funny us.
The nerdy us.
The athletic us.
The inspirational us.
The warrior us.
The fighter us.
And I figured out that learning not to envy someone else’s blessings is what grace looks like…….