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Posts Tagged ‘authenticity’

I spent this afternoon in the company of a wonderful group of my heroes. Everyone left their capes home for the day but I recognized them anyway. They’re moms. Not just ordinary moms…but extraordinary moms. They have chosen to sacrifice paying jobs, adult conversation, daily affirmation and bathrooms cleaned by someone else so they can teach their children math, reading, geography, science, love, acceptance, loyalty, honor, exploration, patriotism…They home school their children every day. They don’t love their kids more than you do. But they have made the decision to educate their own children and it isn’t an easy one. There are no medals at the end of their day for finishing the race. They are not better parents because they home school but they have chosen a difficult, and sometimes frustrating path. I’m a home schooling mom alum and I know that what they do is often unseen and unappreciated. They probably don’t hear the accolades they deserve. Their rewards are usually big hugs and sticky kisses. Which, now that I think about it, is a pretty wonderful pay check. Thank you for allowing me to relive a few memories and make some new friends.

On to my daily dose of “giving up.”

Day 4 – Give up Comparisons

When I first started running (11 months ago), I found it tempting to look at the Facebook posts of my friends who are runners. One young friend ran every day and posted the most amazing (to me) times and distances. I would get discouraged a bit comparing my pathetic times with hers. Another guy would post something like – “Took a quick 5 mile run after dinner. Not as fast as usual, but ok.” He would show a picture of his Garmin display with a 9 minute/mile pace. Seriously? Not as fast as usual? Who does he think he is – the Roadrunner? I was struggling to finish 2 miles at 11 minutes/mile and felt pretty good about it…until then.

My second 5K run last summer was a timed race and I stood at the back of the group at the finish to review the results. I was floored by how much everyone compared themselves to each other. By this time I had learned it was silly for me to compare myself to anyone else when it came to running. I was getting out there, I was meeting my goals and I was happy with my results. Comparing my results to any other runner wasn’t going to help me get better or faster. It would only be a source of discouragement and frustration.

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I learned the “no comparison” lesson with running but it’s a never ending battle in other areas of my life. I still find myself looking at others in regards to my weight, my parenting, my choices, my teaching style, my prayer life, yada, yada, yada. Probably have some deep psychological issues of insecurity but those can wait for another post.

My point is comparing ourselves to others can only be debilitating. You’ll either judge yourself lacking compared to someone else’s success or you’ll determine you’re better than everyone else and become judgmental. Either end of the spectrum is faulty and damaging. My goal isn’t to judge myself worse or better than you…but to encourage you, build you up. Praise your successes – pray for you during your struggles – come alongside you in the good and not-so-good times.

So today I’m definitely making the decision to stop comparing myself to anyone else. I’m not going to use your accomplishments or your efforts as barometers for my own. I’m the best ME I can be and how you live and make choices doesn’t affect that fact. And the same goes for you.

Say this out loud to yourself.

I’m. The. Best. Me. Ever.

Now get out there and be amazing!

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Existing = breathing, eating, sleeping, drinking water. Operating with a bare minimum of effort in order to keep yourself from death.

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Living = All of the above on steroids PLUS:

Embracing life head on.

Choosing risk and change over ruts and routine.

Giving more than taking.

Trusting your heart to someone.

Risking more than playing safe.

Running forward more than stepping back.

Changing more than being complacent.

Knowing you are only one breath from death so committing to breathe deeply.

Loving people and using things, not the other way around.

Courage in place of fear.

Listening at least twice as much as speaking.

Authenticity, not fake “How are you’s”.

Thanksgiving in a world of complaints and whining.

Forgiving over harboring hurts and grudges.

Allowing love over suffering indifference.

Laughter over silence.

Dancing over standing still.

Learning something new each day – and then passing it on to someone else.

Lifting your face into the wind, accepting with laughter and enthusiasm all that life throws your way.

 

Too many people only exist. How sad.

Seize life!

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