This past January, I went on a moonlight snowshoeing hike at the top of the crest in the Sandia Mountains.
Inhaling the crisp mountain air, to the sound of the crunch of snow with every step, I elevated in the majesty of the moment. Walking through the forest in the dark by the light of the full moon, in the stillness, I felt no fear. Its light was shining so bright that I could see my way through the path clearly. Suddenly the darkness was not dark anymore. And for a moment, it seemed just like the daytime.
The moon has always fascinated me. When I was a little girl, I thought the moon followed me around. It exists uniquely apart from the sun. It doesn’t compare with it, but it is present all on its own. By design, these two cosmic bodies are distinct, and both are equally needed to sustain life on this planet.
The universe teaches us that everything is created with a uniqueness integral to everything as a whole.
Have you ever wished you were someone else, living a different life?
I must confess for a time in my life; I compared myself to other people incessantly.
You know why? Because I settled for unworthiness and comparison.
Because that’s our default when we don’t know our worth.
So if you didn’t know that, keep reading.
Comparison can very subtly take away the God-given value I carry. Leaving me to search for my reflection in someone else’s mirror.
I believe perhaps deep down inside, we all have settled and lived a devalued life.
Comparing ourselves to him or her, this or that, we’ve then lost sight of our uniqueness.
And even though today, I rise recovered and unapologetically me as I ever have been, that has not always been the case.
Let us first state that comparison is a mindset.
For years I looked for myself in other people without first thoroughly knowing the value I carry. Taking notice of me against someone else.
Choosing to seek that which is innately inside of me in another.
There’s a picture of a fool chasing the wind!
Before recovery, I searched for anything that promised to be better than me. I created an image based on a ruthless human standard.
Oblivious to my own worth, I tried ways to earn value. The look, the wit, the popularity, the relationship, the money, you name it.
But this game of comparing myself to other people only produced pain and frustration.
Chastising myself for not ever being good enough, I suffered silently.
As painful as this journey is, it is one we take by choice.
What are the standards we set for ourselves? What are we basing these on?
People’s status quo or God’s word?
Because of the two, only one will win. Which will it be?
Countless times in the wee hours, I have vowed in front of His word –
“I am who God says I am.”
Why, then, do I allow others’ opinions to bring me doubt?
Why can’t I allow my self to be unapologetically me?!
Because! My fickle heart struggles to understand that to live out this vow requires both faith and resolve, grace and grit.
Amid the wrestle to accept this valued identity, my feelings cut through and bleed. Sadly we start off so broken that love and value aren’t easy to assimilate.
Worthlessness and comparison are hard habits to break. We hurt because we do not fully understand ourselves as God sees us, and misunderstanding is a painful cross that you and I must bear.
But if we are to compare ourselves, we must then compare to Jesus.
Jesus knew Himself in God, and I long for that wholeheartedly.
I have written before; we are constantly in the tension between what was and what we’ve yet to become.
That’s where I find myself learning to be uniquely me.
Fickle yet strong, letting the light shine through every hole of my resurrected heart.
Like Jesus, I bear the scars of my painful past.
Galatians 5:25-26 MSG
“Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not COMPARE ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.”
Focusing on the original purpose that only I can fulfill, I press on. I can see that I am uniquely made to be part of a whole, His body.
Not to compare but to collaborate.
Just like the moon and the sun in synergy with creation obey and surrender to purpose, I have placed my personality under the dominion of Christ.
I have journeyed to accept who I am.
With courage and grit, I have purposed to stop comparing.
Relinquishing the fear of being too much or too little.
I show up to my life with my heart wide open.
The risk of being unique despite the mental attitude that wants to hold me back is worth pressing through the fear to emerge on the other side.
Because my best life will come from relentlessly pursuing the real me.
Truly the loved, valued, and chosen child of God.
As my emotions settle and my soul rises above the noise of this world, I begin to see that He has made original masterpieces—humans to whom He gave unique value and love.
I have learned that comparing myself to other people devalues my uniqueness and robs them of the joy that the real me will bring.
Therefore, as eloquently stated in Walt Wittman’s words,
“When I give, I give myself.”
Let us continually compare to Jesus as we look into His face to see our true reflection looking back at us.
Let God’s love light up your path my dear friends, and may your uniqueness shine bright for all to see.
In His Love always,