I must have been 7 years old when I learned a lesson that would inspire me, over and over again. I was sitting next to my friend Joy in Sunday school when two kids started bickering. The Sunday school teacher paused Christmas play rehearsals to ask what the problem was. They were fighting over a pink Barbie school bag. One of them screamed, “she always takes the things my mommy buys me”. The other replied in a viciously-matched tone, “she must not have everything!” My teacher paused and asked everybody to look at our palms. Then she asked us to compare it with one another. All 11 of us went around comparing the palm of our hands. She said, “do any of you have the same palm?” Truly, the mode of line-design and the shade varied. Even when the lines seemed similar, the density wasn’t.
That day, from that little demonstration, I learned something deeper. No two people were created the same. No two people had the same life map…blessings and problems alike. Some people are blessed with money. Others are blessed with good looks. Some are blessed with intelligence. Others are blessed with good spirits. Some are blessed to sing. Others are blessed to inspire. Some are scheduled to be successful at 23, and others, at 55. Some will combat an illness at 20, and others won’t ever be sick. Some will die before they turn 30, others will live till they can live no more.
And from time to time, when I get discontent with one thing or the other in my life, I am reminded that my life’s plan is not the same with anyone else’s. And when I start to count unachieved goals or untraveled paths, it’s this perspective that always puts me back in line.
Often times, especially with social media, we get lost in what our life “should” look like. The truth is that no single person is without problems or failures. Nobody is perfect. Nobody has it all. Once, someone told me they left Facebook because seeing the successes in other people’s lives made her depressed about the hardships she was experiencing. And I said, “of course, people advertise their success. You never know the full story. No one wants to advertise their problems. To an extent, you can’t blame them because no one wants to air their dirty laundry into the hands of possible naysayers.” But then again, this is why I always “smh” to the people who make an effort to paint the picture of a perfect life. There is no such thing. There is just God’s grace, the strength to keep on keeping on and the personal decision to own your happiness.
The moment you start to take stock of where your life is in comparison to others is the beginning of unending self-doubt and unhappiness. Of course, there will always be someone who you think is prettier, more successful, richer, happier or with a better spouse, than you. Besides the fact that you have no idea what they’ve been through to get where they are, or what they are doing to maintain what they have, that someone probably thinks the same or more of you.
So, next time you feel the discontent creeping into your mind, instead of comparing, count your blessings. Find the beauty in what you already have. Focus on discovering what plans God has for you and how you can live out and maximize your good fate (akalaka). Whatever it is that’s meant to be yours, will be. All you can do is put in the effort to achieve it. Moreover, the only person who’s life meter you should be comparing yours to is the person who has said His plans are to prosper you and not harm you…to give you hope and a good future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Happiness isn’t getting everything you want. It’s enjoying what you have.
Stay Inspired & Have a Blessed & Content week!
NwaVic – www.nwavic.blogspot.com | firstname.lastname@example.org |Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq