I received a magazine in the mail this week and on the cover was a college dorm-mate. The article inside was filled with her many successes. She had graduated in my major, from my school, completed the advanced degree I wanted and had been having the career I dreamed of. Instead of being happy for her, I struggled all day with that ugly green-eyed monster—-ENVY.
How was she able to do all that? I questioned. And here I am ‘just a mother.’ That was my call to reality. I HATE that phrase. I am not, nor have I ever been ‘just a mother’. I am Mother! (cue the theme music). I may as well run around with a cape and a giant M monogrammed on my spit-up stained T-shirts. I can leap tall laundry piles in a single bound, heal sibling relationships with a piercing glance, conquer Calculus problems with Dr. Kahn’s Math Academy……….ah, but I digress.
I had fallen into the trap! I was comparing…….comparing her ‘magazine worthy moments’ with my ‘still in my pajamas at lunch time’ morning. Why do we DO that? Why do we compare someone’s best with our worst? Why can’t we just be happy for the other person’s successes? Why does it immediately translate to “I am not good enough”?
We have been having similar issues with people who live by us. Somehow (I guess I know how after it happened to me this week) the way we live our life is threatening to them. They cannot be satisfied unless they can find a way to drag our family through the MUD. I wish they could just leave us out of it. But I guess I understand it a little better.
Now I just have to learn how to react well in both circumstances. In the first: Congratulations to my friend and her family!!! YOU ARE AMAZING! In some ways, I wish I could be like you. Congratulations to me!!! I have a great life and a great family. I am happy and I live as I believe. In the second: I am sorry you feel threatened by how I live. I think you have a great family and are doing much good in the world. But I do not want to be like you. And I would assume you would not like to be like me. So can we just be kind to each other and agree to disagree???! After all, that IS what we believe, right? (Article of Faith #11: We claim the aprivilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the bdictates of our own cconscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them dworship how, where, or what they may.)
Good-bye green-eyed monster….I will not be in your trap today!