Monday, April 27, 2015

Permission to be Awesome, Granted.

I'm feeling good about myself these days.  Not in a cocky way I hope, but in a content-with-who-I-am-today-and-my-efforts-to-be-someone-better-tomorrow kind of way.  Life isn't easy right now, nor am I without my disappointments, discouragements, and failures, but over all I'm comparing me to myself instead of others. I don't always feel like this, I'd even say this is the exception to the rule, but I've noticed some things that have contributed to happiness and helped me avoid harmful comparison.  

I wrote them down so I can reference them when I need a reminder, this is a good place to store them, and who knows someone else might find this useful. So here it is.  My tips for Tikla when I'm tempted to compare myself to awesome people around me.

Say these words:

1. "That's awesome!  It's not really my style, but how cool is that!
When I'm feeling lame-o I might say, "oh wow, I should do that and I don't" but this positive statement allows me to admire without feeling like I need to be the same.  It also reminds me that I have a style, and I love things they way I do them because it works for me.

2.  "Wow, that is inspiring, I can totally to do (be, create, enjoy) that someday."
This one takes the pressure off.  I don't have to do (be, create, enjoy) that right now, but I can be inspired by goodness I'm seeing and aspire to it.

3. "I bet that took a lot of work, I'm using my time for other things right now, but this is super cool!
This one is similar to #1, but allows for me to opt out of self judgement when the comparison involves something I actually would love, but don't have priority on right now.  It also reminds me that whoever was being cool took their valuable time to be that way.  They didn't just snap their fingers, they worked at it.

The second part of feeling good these days is giving myself permission to be awesome.

When I forget my 3 tips for Tikla observing the accomplishments of others can cause me to be critical of myself and for that reason I'm often tempted to avoid looking awesome to help out my fellow sisters.

Granted there is a time and place for that (there is no need to go on and on about the marathon you ran to a friend who just had an amputation and showing up to clean a friends house in your grubbies with no make-up is a fantastic idea) but at the end of the day, the difference between being an unpleasant reminder of failure versus an inspiration to be better is in the eyes of the beholder.  Playing small to help someone else is like deciding not to eat anymore because children in Africa are starving.  It's a nice thought but hurts you and doesn't help anyone else.  It's okay for me to improve my talents, make beautiful things and try to be a good mom openly.

I struggle with this.  Just yesterday I spent a slightly silly amount of time on an invitation to James' 2nd birthday party.  It is ADORABLE.  It was fun to make because I don't have many excuses to use photoshop now that I'm not working and frankly I'm stinkin' excited to throw James a little party so he can open presents, squeal about them, eat cake, and be a kid.  The whole thing also reminds me of my mom because even when she had seven kids and was moving every 2 years she somehow managed to create wonderful birthday memories.  One time she had me draw a picture and then recreated my artwork on the surface of my birthday cake. I know. pretty sweet.

So, anyway, before I passed them out today I had a moment of hesitation.  What if someone feels like I'm trying to prove something?  What if I ruin someone's day by giving them a "should" moment?  What if? What if?  I shook it off and gave myself permission to be awesome and passed them out.

I don't like making people feel bad. ever. it's just the worst.  There are few things that steal the joy away more than knowing my efforts had the opposite affect than intended, but in the end, I can't choose happiness for others, I can only choose it for myself.

Stop comparing, choose to be inspired, and reach to be better!