I absolutely, positively love this time of year. I love all the things that bloom. The sunshine & warm air. All the things that are born, all the things that sprout, and pretty much all the things that make me sneeze.
There is something about this time of year. A time of new birth, renewal, starting fresh or starting over. It’s as if mother nature is unapologetically urging you to grow. Sometimes it’s painful, but most always it’s rewarding.
I frequently hear, and sometimes even catch myself (I know, I’m a constant work in progress) – us comparing ourselves to others and their situations. Comparison, jealousy, envy. Those yucky green eyed monsters. While it’s not exactly classy characteristics to possess, I think being mindful of your thought process or recognizing yourself doing these things is a great start in correcting yourself.
But how do we not let comparison steal our joy? How do we take steps to not compare? Great question! It’s something I feel like we can all work at.
Let’s take the potatoes in our garden. We (and by we, I mean my husband) had to quarter them, let them dry out just a bit, poke them down into the ground, cover them back up, talk sweetly (well maybe it’s not a necessity), and water them. Water them consistently. Water & sunshine will make them bloom, grow & produce.
If we are too busy being consumed or worrying about the “greener grass on the other side of the fence”, then we are not taking care of our own grass, not even aware of it’s own potential. We aren’t watering it or picking the weeds and working on the plant (ourselves).
Now let’s change this up, and hopefully I won’t confuse you…because it’s something I struggle with myself and understanding the thought process.
It’s NOT about me. If you’re reading this…it’s not about you. So repeat after me….Life does not revolve around me.
So how are we supposed to invest this time & energy into ourselves instead of focusing on everyone else’s green grass, but not make it all about us…. (see I told you it gets complicated)
In the most (hopefully) simple terms – I lay it out like this (and people are notorious ruiners of all things, so I may be butchering this hard core when my words don’t flow right)
- Strive to be the best version of you. Water yourself, feed yourself nutritiously, give yourself a pep talk, be kind to others. People are watching you, and they will feed off of your energy. Either you can inspire them to do the necessary actions to bloom themselves by example, or you can show your backside and not let your light shine.
- Striving to be the best version of yourself does not in any way mean you deserve to get the glory for your accomplishments. The world does not revolve around you. If someone helped you reach some goals, give credit where credit is due. If you had a strong conviction from God to get your life whipped into shape & have been able to do so – give credit where credit is due. God gave us free will. He allowed you the thought process to feel convicted & make necessary changes to bloom.
- When you fail (and you will), no one is to blame but you. Handle it. It is not permanent unless you allow it to be. Don’t place the blame on others, you’re only stalling your progress. Be accountable. Own it, learn from it, GROW from it. Your growth entirely revolves around how you handle failure. If it sits there stagnant & you aren’t watering it…it’ll never bloom.
- Don’t compare your chapter of life to someone’s entire story. We just think we know everything about everyone. Comparison is the thief of JOY. The one tiny thing you may be going through now, you cannot compare to anyone else’s story. You just can’t. There are SO many different variables….no story is alike. So write your story. Rock it. If you don’t, you will be continually disappointed…and how sad would that be to go through life like that?
- REAL LIFE accomplishments aren’t a calculation of likes, comments & following. Real life is about real life relationships, communication, and vulnerability. I know, it’s hard to believe in our age of technology. It’s a hard thing to navigate & not get caught up in…my life is a weird combo of homesteading efforts and technology. My business is based entirely online. But if we water & feed the relationships we have, they will bloom. Likes, comments & a following will get lost in the news feed and forgotten – all for temporarily self gratification.
So… does that make any sense at all? I hope so. It’s a continuous process of work. Work on all areas of life. It’s hard, sometimes it’s ugly, but we don’t have to stay there. Why would we plant a seed and let it sit there in the dirt without watering & nurturing it? It would never do anything, produce anything, or bring joy. So grow, water, nurture & bloom! See where it takes you!