Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Comparisons


I'm still looking for comments on yesterday's post. Surely more of you have something to say about online friendships! Feel free to reply here, on Facebook or with a DM. Will be moving forward with the post (series?) tomorrow. Thanks!

Yesterday, Jon Acuff tweeted, "Never compare your inside with somebody else's outside."

Honestly, this brought me to tears. It's just one of the most beautiful, succinct things I've read in a long time.

A while ago I wrote about overcoming fear. Since then, I've started taking lessons with my dear friend Rich. For the most part, it's been good. He's been crazy encouraging and bit by bit, I'm feeling more confident. Most of the time. I have moments when the bad voices start piping up, but in general, they are being drowned out by affirming voices. Which is nice.

Now the biggest "bad voice" tends to be my own. I've been playing the piano for a very, very long time now, and I get frustrated that what I hear in my brain sometimes almost never makes it out to the keyboard. Part of that is me putting in a crap load more time actually sitting at the piano playing. But some of it is that this kind of playing is really new to me and I need to give myself time to learn the tools I need to translate what I want to do to what I can do.

Which is why that quote just grabbed me and wouldn't let go.

But the more I think about it, I think it applies much more broadly.

I make unfair comparisons all the time. I look at what someone has accomplished and I compare it to what I want to accomplish and I come up short. Someone is a more eloquent writer, is a more accomplished musician, has deeper spiritual insights, is a better mom, and on and on it goes. One person after another where I don't measure up. And in the midst of that, I forget what's inside of me.

Don't get me wrong -- there is often work involved in getting what is inside to the outside. Take a class, practice, study, read, engage. It is by no means a passive process.

But! In the midst of that process, I think it's important to remember that what is inside of me still has value. It won't be the same as what someone else is doing, but it's still important.

And what is inside of YOU has value as well.

Where do you feel the urge to compare yourself negatively to others? What helps you keep going to bring what is inside of you to the outside?


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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
 
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