Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Quicksand of Comparison

I am hyper-sensitive these days, so it doesn’t take much to rock my boat. I try to remain as guarded as I can, but some days I miss it. It’s on those days that I’m amazed to see just how tricky my emotions can be. Sometimes, they come along like a gust of wind, hurl me overboard and leave me for the waves to wash me ashore wherever!

Case in point….

Last week, I was blessed to break bread with a friend I hadn’t seen in far too long. I shudder to try to guesstimate when the last time was that we spent some actual face time together. And I certainly won’t dare even whisper about how long it took us to FINALLY sync calendars for this little outing. However, if I did I would probably whisper something along the lines of “way TOO LONG”. That was a whisper, by the way.

It was nice to have a couple of uninterrupted hours to eat, chat, and just catch up on life. A lot has happened since we last saw each other – family stuff, career stuff, life stuff. As we parted company, we agreed we will NOT allow so much time to slip by before we see each other again. God, please hold us to that.

I was so delighted to see my girl friend. She inspires me more than she knows. However, my emotions have a strange knack for turning inspiration into something quite foul and un-Godly. May I tell you a secret? After visiting with her I often want to crawl off into the nearest dark cave and stay there, eating berries, and drawing stick figures on the walls until Jesus comes (or until some crazy animal carries me away, whichever happens first.)! You’re laughing, but I am so serious (even though I’m laughing, as well).

Now before your mind gets to wandering let me explain why, through NO FAULT of hers, I tend to feel this way.

When I met my friend nearly four years ago I could instantly tell she was one of those women who had her act together. The scent of confidence emanated from her as fragrant as the newest Coco Chanel perfume. She is a woman, actively using her gifts to positively impact the lives of others and she is very good at what she does. It’s what we all want someone to say about us, isn’t it?

Throughout the community and beyond, she is greatly admired for the work she does. I am one of her many cheerleaders – proud of all she’s accomplished and excited about the promising road that lies ahead of her. In some ways I used to want to follow in her path. However, when I look at her footsteps, the prints look far too gargantuan for my little shoes to fill. The moment I begin to think this way is the moment my emotions are now dragging me along by my ponytail and having their merry little way with me. Not good!

So what do I do? How do I respond when this happens? Honestly, I used to throw my hands up in surrender and go with the downward flow. Fortunately, I’ve grown up a little and know a little better now. So, tomorrow, I’ll share how I’ve learned to shift to solid ground when I find myself sinking fast in the quicksand of comparison. I hope you’ll join me.

Completely ME,