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It’s All Relative

a single cloud in the beautiful Dutch sky

What Makes Me… Me

When I was a kid, my siblings and I created a collage. We each contributed a picture of something we felt was representative of the other two. I got a picture of a guitar for my brother and a paintbrush for my sister. For me, one of them added a picture of Kleenex box. Why? Because I had terrible allergies. I was always sneezing and blowing my nose. Not exactly the kind of thing I’d want to represent who I am but, it was realistic.

This isn’t a story about my allergies…(they are better). It’s about how, at any point in my life, there were things that I thought defined me. I was certain that whatever I was feeling, I would feel that way forever. Just like I felt that my allergies would always be a defining feature of my life. That I would always be carrying that tissue box with me, if not literally then figuratively.

What I Say and Think

What I truly think about myself tends to sneak out in ways that I don’t even realize. What I do and say tells people how I see myself relative to others. Yesterday, I found myself saying, “I’m old” three times in one hour conversation. Now I don’t really see myself as that old, so why am I repeating that phrase over and over? Is it because if I say it, other people won’t be able to hurt me by saying it to me? Of course I’m old. I’m older than many people and younger than others. So what?

If I can accept myself, exactly as I am today, I believe I would benefit.

I am committed to paying attention to how I see myself vs. other people. I’m going to listen carefully to what I say about myself. I’m going to work on seeing my “majesticness” relative to the old me. If I compare myself to others, I may always see myself as less than. Compared, however, to my former self, I see growing compassion, kindness and serenity. This is the person I really want to be.

Image credit: Dutch clouds

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