It's taken awhile, but I think I've finally realized that living that way is no way to live. It's not about what other people want or expect of me. It's not how I measure up to anyone else. It's about how I measure up to the life God has in store for me.
This idea was brought to my attention tonight in 2 settings - the first was in my Strengths for the Journey group. As we went around and shared about the discussion questions, everyone was responsible for listening and telling back to the person what we each took away from what he/she just shared. By exercising more careful listening, I was able to tune in more to what each individual was saying, and I realized that everyone has such a different story - different backgrounds, education, experiences...you name it. Who are we to be judges of others in any situation on any given day? And, in light of what I previously mentioned, why should I be worried about people judging me? - No one (except God) really knows where anyone else is in his/her life at any particular moment.
That being said, I felt like someone whacked me on the head on my drive home from Strengths, as my second encounter of the evening with this idea hit me - my iPod came on with None of Them Are You by Brendan James (click on the video below). And I feel like this song speaks a similar message - No two people come from exactly the same place. And if we spend our time worrying about being better or the same as others in different talents or situations, we'll be robbing ourselves of the joys and talents present in our lives.
It's not about comparison, after all.
It's about each of us living our own lives to the best of our abilities using the talents and graces God has given to us. Nothing more.
(Gotta love Brendan James - check out this recent NY Times article. I think you'll be hooked.)