I was taught at a young age (well, for as long as I can remember) to never compare myself to others. Did I listen? No!!! I’ve always spent time comparing myself to others; “she’s got everything, look at that body; bet she can have anything she ever wanted!” Or, “wow, look at their house, they really have it going on!” Or how about, “That couple is so happy, why can’t I find love like that?” For they must have it right and I must have it wrong, right? I thought this (thought this) until recently. I was reminded that we all have issues in our lives that we must all face at some point in time.
There is a point in our lives, be it early or late, where we must face some difficulties; some will face people that don’t like them, for whatever reason; some must face a relationship that ends, and most will undoubtedly face the death of a family member or friend. But we will always have to come to that time in our lives where we must face that certain situation; a something that causes us to look deep within ourselves (digging deep within) to find the foundation on which we can stand strong.
I have a friend, a best friend who I always joked that she had a lucky star following her around. For no matter what she did or how she did it, it would always turn out perfect. She was a ‘lucky’ person and was (is) a person that lit up a room. I consider this person one of the most beautiful people I know (inside and out). Always looking on the bright side and always seeing a way out of every situation. It was as if she could just ‘think it’ and it would happen.
Recently, it would appear that her luck has turned. Bad luck? Not so sure; because, perhaps this ‘bad luck’ is for the sake of helping her find her ‘foundation’; a place upon where she can stand. This person is a person who deserves, if anyone does, the best that life has to offer. If for no other reason than the fact that she has worked her whole life as if there were no tomorrow all while ‘dancing as if no one was watching’, or so the saying goes.
I met her many (MANY) years ago and to say that I have been blessed to know her would be an understatement. Knowing her has saved my life and it is because of her that I have given myself ‘rebirth’. Still, for me to compare myself to her, as fabulous as she is, is unfair; not just to myself, but mostly to her. Nobody wants (nobody deserves) to be placed on a pedestal. We all have issues that we must face, some are more trying that others. But all (ALL) are just as traumatic and difficult (depending on the time of life and the situation) to each of us and ALL are necessary for growth.
I watched my friend this past weekend as she faced challenge after challenge and I must say, I was impressed. Despite the jabs by ‘friends’, the jokes at her expense and the betrayals (yes there were a few), she held herself in the highest esteem. Holding her head high, she laughed, joked and never (NEVER) uttered a word of self pity. She carried on, took care of business, took care of her guest (me), and did what she did best; carried on and danced as if no one was watching. And I kept watching her in awe while at the same time kicking myself saying, “what an idiot I am”; comparing myself to the ‘outer stuff’ she had and trying to live up to all the ‘stuff’ she acquired. While what I should have been paying attention to, and trying to do, was mirroring the woman she was (IS).
Mirroring is still a bit of a danger because it denies a person the chance of being who they really are. I don’t want to do that. But I no longer wish to compare myself either. I learned a very valuable lesson this last weekend. We all make choices and we all must go through trying times in our lives (that’s a given). But, we all have people in our lives with whom we can share our experiences with and with whom (hopefully) we can gain our strength. I hope to be that for her just as she has been for me.
If she ever reads this I hope she knows just how much I admire her. I have ever since that first day we sat in the park and talked for hours. She sacrificed so much for her family (just to own a home and gain some savings). I don’t think they ‘get’ that. But truth wins out eventually and I know that this will be the case for her. She is a woman to be admired.
As for me, I’ve learned that I am oh so grateful for my problems; for they could be oh so much worse. I’m still grateful for each day that I discover that little bit more about myself. And I’m grateful that I’ve learned that the grass is just as green in my own back yard.