Getting over myself this New Year
By Jessica Brodie
There is a child in my home (who shall remain nameless and gender-neutral for the purpose of this tale) who is constantly comparing themselves to the distorted image they see projected by others.
This child watches other kid vloggers on YouTube Kids and is taken in by the mythology they see, thinking this YouTube Child has it so great—and that our lives somehow fall short.
This child looks around them at school and sees other classmates act like they have it all together—and believes this to be true.
This child thinks the proverbial grass is always greener on the other side. Everything else, everyone else, every other situation than their own is spectacularly amazing, and they cannot possibly measure up.
No matter how many times I try with pep talks or tough talks to convince this child otherwise, my words never succeed. Parenting is a blessing, but when you watch helplessly as your child seems bent on playing the Comparison Game, oh, is it ever hard.
Truth be told, it’s especially hard because I used to do the exact same thing. I’d look around me and see others who seemed to have it all, and I’d want to be just like them. I’d mimic characters in books and actresses on television in the hopes that I’d make it if I could only fake it well enough.
But it’s a game no one can ever win. It’s an exercise in loss, an exercise in idolatry.
Because here’s what I’ve learned over the years: the only thing we can be is ourselves. And there is only one way to achieve the so-called Best Version of Ourselves… not by mimicking others or cultivating some fake lifestyle or starving or molding ourselves until we look or act or appear just like what we desire.
We can be all we can be only through Christ.
God designed us to be amazing and wonderful in our own special uniqueness. When we can own that, then we’re on the right track! In fact, when we can get over ourselves long enough to stop worrying about any of it, we’re halfway there.
Reading the psalms this morning, this one verse struck me: “When I look up at your skies, at what your fingers made—the moon and the stars that you set firmly in place—what are human beings that you pay attention to them?” (Psalm 8:3-4 CEB).
We are people, friends. Every one of us is just a simple human being. We’re not divine, we don’t have special powers, and we’re not better than anyone else.
We are God’s creation, as beautiful in our natural state as the skies, the moon, and the stars. We are beautiful because God loves us and because God made us. And we are most beautiful when we glorify GOD, not waste our time worrying about ourselves.
This New Year, I have one resolution: set my sights on God and how I can glorify Him in every aspect of my life. I want to look around at others and be inspired by the ways they are showcasing God and God’s marvelous creation and might… not feel envious and want to toss aside the special aspects God assigned to me in order to be less like me and more like them. They are not God. I am not God. But by celebrating and growing in my God given gifts and wonders, I can glorify and magnify Him.
I pray my (nameless, gender-neutral) child can do the same.
Happy New Year. Remember: You are loved.