Out With Comparison, In With Gratitude
To start off, this is something new to me. I've never been through a more tough time of dealing with comparison because what I'm going through right now greatly affects who and what I want to be in the future. With everything, it takes a lot of time and effort to get better. As an aspiring artist, I tend to always compare myself to others who for example, have the money to afford things I probably just think I need in order to keep becoming better at what I want to do. Sometimes I get so sad to the point where I break down and cry because I find it unfair how I don't have special materials, or connections, or opportunities. And then I think, man if I only had the money, I could be just as good as them.
One day, at this point, is when I realized how selfish I sounded and I decided that I needed to practice gratitude. I may not have the money to buy the materials I want, or parents that actually want me to pursue art, but I am doing something. Right now, I'm working two jobs to save up for a camera. I'm pretty much working 7 days a week, unless I force myself to get some rest from work. Sure, other kids my age and younger might've had parents who bought them all of these things, but here I am making it on my own and I think with that, I should be very very proud of myself. I know that by the end of summer, when I'll have more than enough money to buy a good camera, I will feel so great knowing that I earned it. All that hard work, standing in the sun, getting bad tans, it will all be worth it.
So that's one big subject that I think about a lot in my mind. The thing that I am working on right now is being grateful without comparing. It's probably one of the hardest things to do. Being grateful isn't saying, "I'm thankful for this, because at least *some worst situation*." No, being grateful should be about looking at your own life, your own journey, and yours only.. and being thankful that you're just here and living it and making the most out of it. I know it's going to be so tough, but so far, it also helps with being happy for others instead of envying them. So in the end, being grateful without comparing, you aren't only helping yourself, but helping others by showing them love and support.
This is the first time I'm going to be bringing up God, so yeah. I believe that God has already planned our lives out and is just watching us live the story He made for each and every one of us. When I think about all the hell I've been through back in my earlier teens and how I've overcome the tough times, I can't even express how thankful I am for Him putting me through that because I wouldn't be who I am today. At the time, I didn't have a relationship with God, and once I did, I started to handle situations better and have faith that if I'm going through this right now, then what comes after must be amazing.
"To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1 GNBDK
For so long, I've just been patiently but faithfully longing to see what amazing thing will happen in my life because I feel like it'd be so huge from the length and the quality of bad times I've been through (I'd say I'm still going through it right now). But then I find myself expecting from God. I mean it isn't a bad thing.. but God is unpredictable and that's what I love. He DOES bless me with amazing things even if they're small. I always thank Him for the small things. I thank Him for having a person whom has never seemed fond of me finally talk to me, I thank Him for correcting a bad habit of mine, I thank Him for blessing me with His love that makes me feel so good and confident. Yes, when I do win something extravagant, I am overwhelmed by the blessing, but it's like ..wow, His works are so mysterious and it just makes life just that much more interesting.
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians NIV
With praying, I learned on my own (because I had this random strange feeling one night) that I should no longer ask God for things, but I should only thank Him for all the things He has given me. I know it may be weird because everyone says to pray to God in times of trouble, but it has just felt so right ever since. Its felt so right because I know that I am undeserving of the blessings I get so I guess I'm in this stage of overwhelm. Right now, it feels so right to practice gratitude without asking for anything, because all in all, I'm too overwhelmed by the blessings that I can't ask for more.
What I'm reading about now is that it's okay to pray to God for things you don't deserve, because that's what's so amazing about His grace. That's what fuels our faith in Him. That's how amazing He is!
"Out of the fullness of His grace He has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another." John 1:16 GNBDK
Have a wonderful Sunday!