Earlier this spring, I planted six small rose bushes. These rose bushes produced a few beautiful flowers each for a month or so, and then their growth came to a standstill. I was so worried that my roses were done for the year! But then, what seemed like overnight, my roses grew by well over a foot from their original height and all had tons of new blooms! With each day that I checked, a new bud was popping out of nowhere. Then last Friday, I walked out of my door and I saw that a big, bright, beautiful yellow rose had bloomed overnight!
Seeing this beautiful new flower reminded me of a quote that I’ve always remembered so vividly in my mind; “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” This is such a simple, straightforward, yet remarkably powerful statement. Each flower is so carefully created. They start out from a tiny bud and then bloom into something so pure and beautiful, each one unique and different from the next.
When you think about it, flowers are a lot like people. We’re all created to be one of a kind. The difference? Flowers bloom without ever thinking “hey, she grew faster than I did!” “Why is she taller than me?” “Why am I not as bright as her?” “I need what she has!” They grow and blossom at their own rate, on their own time, without ever comparing themselves or competing with their neighbors.
So why is it that we as women (men too, but I’m speaking for the ladies) do this? Why do we constantly compare and judge ourselves and others? This has got to stop! We weren’t made to live these types of lives. We were made to grow on our own time. We were made to do and see great things. We should live our lives to the best of our abilities and lift others up, instead of trying to bring them down.
I am personally not one for competing. I want everyone to be able to do whatever they are passionate about and be great at it! If someone wants to visit all of the same countries I’ve been to, good! You should want to be able to explore the world. It’s my desire that you are able to do so! If you want to become a photographer, great! I love being inspired by others! Competing is just nasty. We are all better at some things than others, and we all could probably use a bit of work in some areas. But instead of being ugly to others and boasting over our talents, maybe we could have grace and use our talents to help others find their passions as well.
While I don’t compete, I often find myself comparing my life to others. But unfortunately, I’m on the “I’m not as good as they are” side. I’m constantly comparing my house to the houses of bloggers that I see on Instagram or comparing my work to other photographers’ wishing that I could have an ounce of the talent that they have. I’m always telling my friends how badly I want to do something (blogging was one of these things) but I almost immediately shut down the idea because I’m too worried I won’t be good enough. When I do this I have to stop and remind myself that I’m actually living a dream life and that I need to stop with the comparing! This is a habit that I’m trying so hard to fix. Comparing yourself to others will only eat a hole inside of you. We just can’t do this! We can all do great things, we just have to stop being afraid and comparing ourselves and trying to compete with others to make them happen!
The moral of the story is that we have got to stop trying to compete with and compare ourselves to others. You don’t know what your neighbor is going through, so don’t compare your life to what you see on their social media accounts. They’re just hiding their piles of dirty laundry on the other side of their freshly made bed in that Instagram photo. Don’t compete with others to attempt to be better. You are uniquely you and you will do great things. Grow on your own, with help from the good seeds around you. Don’t let the bad ones bring you down.
Be kind. Be uplifting. Be positive. Be graceful.
(P.S.-Thank you, Jenny and Katie for being my good seeds.)