Rome. Paris. London. Experiencing other cultures and exploring. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?
I couldn’t help but discover just that kind of lifestyle on Instagram last night, only to imagine myself walking in those shoes. I found an old classmate’s account by pure coincidence and then proceeded down the rabbit hole of what her life is like today. She’s amazingly talented, beautiful, and appears to have the kind of free spirit that I can only dream of. She was all of those things in high school and I can remember feeling envious even then of her perfection.
It seems that she’s grown even taller, like a tree with so many different branches that it’s impossible to know every inch. She’s done amazing things, and most of all, she’s done it in cities and countries I know I’ll never see in my lifetime.
Comparing my life to someone else’s isn’t fair to anyone involved, but if the mood is just right, I find it hard to resist. I never imagined myself traveling the world as a writer. Instead, I actually imagined myself as a nurse, aiding the sick back to health. Life has a funny way of working out, and it just so happens to be one of my many insecurities that I, in fact, quit nursing school. It was too hard, or maybe I just gave in too easily. I often think it’s the latter.
If I’m being honest, I spent the entire night sulking over it. I was again envious of what she had done in life and in turn, instead of celebrating her accomplishments, I started to doubt my own.
I’m not good enough. I’m a failure. I’ll never reach any sort of potential. I’m not smart enough. I’m stuck. I’m complacent. I’ve hit the glass ceiling. I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and should’ve stayed there. I’m off brand, generic. I’m a nobody. And yet, I heard a whisper in the back of my head that turned into more of a yell.
You’re more than enough!
Last weekend, my church held a women’s retreat titled #morethan, with the premise that we are #morethan our labels and #morethan our shortcomings. We are #blessed, and when we look at human life with #nofilter, we can see that everyone has their own insecurities, trials, and tribulations.
There were several speakers, each who shared things that personally resonated with me. Some shared their own struggles and spiritual journey, while others gave references and advice on how to really navigate through our feelings of unworthiness. As discussed at the retreat, we have to reject impossible standards, impossible labels, and remain trusting in God and ourselves.
I am more than I allow myself to be.
It hasn’t even been a week, and I already forgot everything I learned. There I was (or here I am, rather), comparing my life to someone else and labeling myself with failures. I forgot to put Him first and I forgot to focus on the relationship I have with myself. I am a child of God and I am exactly where He wants me to be, but this is #morethan being spiritual; this is remembering that you are invaluable.
I am chosen, I am wanted. I am complete. I am free. I am courageous. I am purposeful. I am transformed. I am more than my wounds and scars. I am more than enough because His love is unfailing. I am His. I am alive.
I am grateful.
One of the ideas given to us at the retreat was writing a journal with gratitudes from each day. The speaker suggested writing the date, your gratitudes, and what’s happening that day. If you’re on a spiritual journey yourself or are Christian, she suggested praying before reading a chapter in the Bible so that something may stick out to you that God wants you to make note of. If reading the Bible and praying isn’t up your alley, perhaps take that time for some self reflection.
I’ve been doing it for about a week now, and although there are clearly times when I still doubt myself, I have been feeling more lifted. We have to remember to stop and take notice of what we have, rather than what we don’t. I may not be traveling the world, but I do have a wonderful husband and daughter, and she gives me more happiness than anything I could’ve ever dreamed of. God has certainly #blessed me, and it’s time to let go of everything else that I’ve been holding onto. Like a tree, I will also continue to grow; it doesn’t stop here, not for me and not for you.