Tonight is one of my favorite evenings of the month - book club. I love the women in my book club and how they have made me feel so welcome from day one. I think in all of the months since I joined the club, I have read one book but it doesn't matter. It is a great evening of good food, lots of laughter, and the fellowship I craved when I looked for a church.
The thing that I love about this club is that each one of us are so different. There is a soon-to-be retired laboratory manager, a school librarian, a law library director, a college professor, a kindergarten teacher, an accountant, an office manager, and a retired minister. Everyone is so diverse and I am inspired every time we gather together.
The one thing that has amazed me from the start is I've never found myself comparing my life to theirs. I've never been jealous or felt insecure when I've spent time with them. OK, I will admit that I am envious that their houses are suitable for such a gathering and that they appear to be spotless (unlike my house with its ruined plaster, unfinished projects, and dust bunnies run amok). There are times I have aspired to be like them but I have never compared myself and felt like I fell short in their eyes. There is such a comfort in this.
There are two quotes that are very similar but both amazing. My favorite is by E.E.Cummings, "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." My second favorite is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Isn't it interested that two great writers felt compelled to give us the same inspiration - be yourself no matter what the world tries to make you into.
There is no way to achieve this if you are comparing yourself to anyone else. You are unique. Embrace that. Walk away from people who don't appreciate that and find people who do. Comparison is exhausting. The standards of what is cool and fashionable are a moving target. Let your target being comfortable in your own skin and loving who you are.