“Don’t worry about whether or not someone else can do it better than you. No one else can be you, & you were created in the image of a perfect creator. Don’t allow comparison to rob you of your uniqueness, your imagination, your light and your joy.” -Erin McNeely
All I want is to be enough. To be enough as a wife, to be enough as a daughter, to be enough as a mom, to be enough as a friend and to be enough as an employee. But the sad truth is I may never be…in their eyes.
I grew up being compared. It was like, “87 lang ang grade mo sa math at aral ka ng aral samantalang yung kapatid mo hindi na kailangan mag aral”. Or “yung manliligaw ng pinsan mo nakakotse, yung sayo naka bike lang.” People would compare me with my brothers, my cousins and my classmates. There was also an instance that a teacher of mine told me that I cannot be a cheerleader because I look like a maid. Sometimes it is not intentional while others enjoy pulling people down to make themselves stand out. Nonetheless, being compared drove me to be better in school and in my life choices in general. I told myself that soon you will tell me that I am not just second to anyone but someone you prefer. But after doing all these I realized that comparing will not stop. The comparison might have been reversed but still there is a loser and a winner. And if I slack, I will be back to the losing end of the comparison and I will be unhappy again. It is tiring to always be up to my toes because I don’t want to be left behind.
You are You
No one can be better than you because there’s only one you. Some mothers got it all figured out. They have a proper plan and it seems that their lives are perfect with their toddlers. They know what to do when their kid throws a tantrum, they can cook, take care of their husband, iron their kid’s uniform and still look stunning in their office wear and never late for work. Then I tell myself, how can they?? I recently watched the movie Bad Moms and like them I beat myself everyday thinking how can I be enough. How can i be the “perfect mom” like her? But that perfect mom is different and so am I. It is the acceptance of myself, my true self. I can only be happy with myself if I acknowledge who really I am. Most of the time it is easier to affirm others than ourselves but as the old saying says, “you cannot give what you do not have.” So, let me remind you of a few things:
a. You are Awesome and your Life too. Some might be more popular than you but you have the characteristics that gets you real friends who stick around. You might not have the longest patience for your kid but you have the warmest hug for her. You might not have the brightest ideas at work but you make the office a nice place to work at. Society has conditioned us that there are certain criteria before you can be the “best” or for you to have that “perfect” life. Let me tell you, nothing is perfect so stop aiming for it. You will never be like that. You are wonderful as you are with all your imperfections. All of us have different timelines and circumstances to live at. While others have figured out their gifts already, I am still trying different things to find that one thing I can do to make this world a better place. You have your own journey and others too. It is your life, your own pace, your own destination.
b. There is Enough for Everyone. Believe that you have a special place in this crowded world. Your kid will not be born if you are not her parent. Your husband will not fall in love this deep if it wasn’t you. You fill that certain space in someone’s heart. Each person is unique one way or another and each of us have a different role to play in the world.
c. God is fair. Everybody has his/her own story, own challenges. Each and everyone would have ups and downs in their lives. One artist named Yayoi Kusama is crowned as the world’s most popular artist in 2014 and she lived in a sanitarium! She turns her hallucinations into avant-garde art pieces. All of us are given creative potential and the moment you know how to use it, opportunities are infinite. We do not need to figure out everything in an instant, life will take its course. Paulo Coelho asked in his book why people need to see other people’s misfortunes before they can see that they themselves are blessed. We usually say, “oh, she is very rich but she has a failed marriage, God is fair.” We are all blessed, period. The cycle of comparing will not stop unless we stop making other people’s lives our benchmark.
You Decide to be Enough
No one can tell you you are not enough unless you let them. It’s like this, when people tell you something, they are looking at a scenario based on their own experiences and biases. It is how they view things and not based on how you see things. I used to think that my mom is not good enough for me and I was so selfish to think that way for 20 years. I realized that I may not be who I am now if she is not enough as mom to me. Even her weaknesses helped me to value hardwork and be independent. She loved me the best way she can. “We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”
I am made of my past, my present, my future, my victories and my mistakes.
I am enough and so are you.
The Win-Win Competition
If you would want to compare yourself then it will be between you and your yester-self. My colleague once told me, “Your benchmark should be just YOUR past.”If we want to aim to change for the better then choose to be better from who you are from yesterday. We may choose the choices of the people we look up to and it is okay, because at least you choose it based on who you want to be.