He had made a mistake in judgement, but it was hardly worth getting worked up about.
I chuckled to myself. I hear you God.
Over the last few days I had been lamenting. Different words, but same answer. Today my heart was groaning about it. And today, God decided to speak perspective to my heart — through my son and two different writers.
Because the culture we breathe and work in rushes against rest. It equates our worth with production and wealth and fame. The more we work toward those goals, the more society assigns us worth. (DeMuth "Everything"189)Yes, this is what my heart has been wrestling. An idea that success, or even my worth, is somehow measured by how I compare to other people. The more I do, achieve, excel, the more value I have.
I am dissatisfied. I can always do more, be more. This way of thinking snowballs — into an exhausting competition, if you will, against the human race. I look around and see what everyone else is doing and feel a pressure to be more then I am.
And this thought process trickles down into how I parent. I find myself spiraling towards the pit as I listen to other parents brag about how great their kid is at this or that. I feel the pressure for my own kids to be more and do more. But when I slow down and watch my kids excelling at just being them, that self-imposed pressure makes me feel sick to my stomach.
How do you keep "parent-brag syndrome" from infecting you?
Lately, as I tire myself reaching for the unattainable, I hear another voice whispering. Perhaps you measure success with the wrong ruler?
It's crucial to avoid comparison, and set your own yardstick for success. Your path is not going to look like anyone else's. (Rachelle Gardner, "Don't Feed Your Discontent")
I am fairly certain I will not discover the cure for cancer or do anything the world might find extraordinary. But if I stop using the giant ruler marked "everyone" and instead use the one assigned only to me, I find that I am pretty extraordinary!
Success, in my opinion, is merely your ability to accomplish something you've set out to achieve.
Wow, just getting dressed and out the door some mornings is success for me.
Viewing myself, my worth, through the lens of comparison has become a bad habit — but one I want to break. Slowly shifting my focus forces me to see things differently — perhaps how they were meant to be seen.
Already I feel freedom, relief, even peace. When successes are measured by an individual ruler, I see myself, my husband, my children for who they really are — who God made them to be. And I really like them!
My son's lament in the car today was a sweet reminder.
There is no one on this Earth who will ever get it "right" all the time. Perfect does not exist here. Set your ruler for doing the very best that you can and be content with that. Because that's truly all you can do — your best.
And that is the real definition of success.
Breaking habits with Ann at "A Holy Experience":
God chose "Fruitful" to be my #oneword365 for 2013. And I can't help but view this new perspective through the lens of that word. I believe God is helping me to define what being fruitful looks like and I see now that it can only be measured using my own ruler.