23 May 2014

thief of love

there's a lie out there. a big one. and most of us have fallen for it hook. line. and sinker. and it has nearly sunk us. the lie is steeped in pride, wrapped in a false sense of self and bestowed as ingenuity. that lie is comparison.

Journal courtesy of my friend Kate. Find her at etsy.com/shop/littlethingsstudio

theodore roosevelt once said, "comparison is the thief of joy." who am i to argue with a man who could wrangle cattle and politicians? though i am dumbfounded that a man like this would have ever compared himself with anyone. i mean, to me he is the gold standard. still. 

so there i sat one morning in the midst of all these beautiful faces. my women's bible study. to some it could be a hot bed for breeding comparison. all of the women are young, beautiful, accomplished, intelligent, sincere, lovely. goodness they are downright close to perfection, but they are also dedicated to getting to the bottom of what causes these rumors of jealous and comparison to spread. 

i sat with them the other day, my older self. and said, "how can we stand to be jealous of one another when it benefits us all if one is doing well? if your kid makes the honor roll, i benefit because she is putting good out in the world. good that i get to experience being a dweller in the world. and i celebrate you getting that dream house because your family will benefit hence so will i." good begets good. light begets light. stop hating and start seeing.

when we stop being deceived and see that jealousy is nothing but an isolating lie that keeps up in perpetual distraction, we will recognize that when one of us is doing well, we all are doing well. excelsis deo.

but we forget to excelsis the deo. entitlement has swooped down to tell us that we are the masters of our rightful destinies. and when hardships come, we are wrought with a myriad of emotions including surprise, frustration and anger, but rarely compliance. and when good stuff does come, well, we keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and postpone our gratefulness. and those around us look into our lives and think, "if only i had a drop of that" whilst not seeing the glory that they are sitting in the midst of. whew.

the two little homeschoolers and i are working on memorizing isaiah 61. verse 6 reads: 

instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. therefore they will possess a double portion in their land. (and here's the pièce de résistance) everlasting joy will be theirs.

even my 7 year old gets that: everlasting joy will be theirs. and if we can instill that into the hearts of the little people we know. if we can gift them with that lasting truth over silly games and gadgets and fancy footwear and distracting devices, we might just gift ourselves as well. and what would happen if we all were a little less tethered to our trappings? 

am i making sense to you? tap-tap-tap is this thing on? and by the way. i am preaching this to myself lest any of y'all think i got it figured out. just cause i know stuff doesn't mean i practice stuff. look at my 11 year old and his multiplication facts.

kate dicamillo refers to something as "a vicious cycle". in her book the tale of despereaux, we meet a character known as miggery sow. this tragic girl, named after her father's prized pig, was sold into slavery to a man known as uncle, who regularly gave her a "good clout to ears" rendering her deaf. and being that she could not hear, well, she got into trouble. a lot. getting herself even more "clouts to the ears". and so on. a vicious cycle. can you see how we live in the same kind of cycle?

so i leave you with this. don't compare your oranges to my lemons and i'll try to not compare my lemons to your oranges. o, and here is a check list cause we all love a good check list even if we don't think we do. 
envy less. 
celebrate more. 
enjoy more. 
compare less. 
strive less. 
slack more. 
okay that might not be the best advice, but you get it. 

now get out there and see good and enjoy when you see good in others.


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