Comparison to others is the killer of joy

3 months ago I was blessed with another beautiful grandson, Jasiah Anthony Taylor. When I think about this experience compared to when my other grandson, Niko, was born…night and day differences. There are a few obvious things that make it different. My daughter was only 19 when she had Niko. Being a teen mother myself, this was not what I wanted for my daughter. Her partner, 19 as well, was of course, not equipped for this either. She went through some very hard times. Fast forward 8 years later, Tori (my daughter) is so evolved and in a relationship with a man I adore. Not to say that parenthood will be easy…under the best of circumstances it’s never easy. This time she has a partner and a better understanding of life in general. 

This time, a planned pregnancy, with a partner she has devoted herself to and he to her, sets the stage for a very strong foundation. I have also evolved and bloomed into the support system she truly needs (although I am 2 hours away). Looking back 8 years ago, I was not anyone Tori could really depend on. I was constantly struggling with anxiety stemming from a broken marriage, a broken business, and broken dreams. 

I feel like Jasiah is symbolic of new birth within all of us. Tori is a new type of parent and I am a new type of mother and grandmother. I look back at the last 8 years and realize we have lived another lifetime, filled with lessons we can use to be better, not just for the children, but for our partners, friends, family, and most of all, ourselves. 

That previous lifetime serves as such an excellent measurement of growth. Comparison to others is the killer of joy…comparison to our past self though…oh man, that creates a tremendous amount of joy. 

Knowing how far I have come over the past 8 years gives me radical confidence. It makes me realize anything is possible. I have experienced countless (what I thought to be) “hopeless” situations in my lifetime. Feelings so dark, empty, with feelings of helplessness…but, I’m here. I have survived every single one of those hopeless situations…turns out they weren’t hopeless after all. Someone told me recently “you don’t have to believe everything you think”…I had never considered that before. Simply because my thoughts and feelings tell me something, doesn’t necessarily mean I have to believe them. One of my many mentors had a strategy while in seasons of doubt, ask yourself 3 questions…

Where did that thought come from?

Is it true?

Will it help you or hurt you?

9 times out of 10, I’ve found I don’t know where a thought came from, which means I made it up…the other 10% of the time I move to the next question, is it true? Whether it is or not, I move to the 3rd and final question, will it help you or hurt you? That last question tells you whether or not you need to let that thought go because it’s not serving you or to hold strongly to it because it is. 

This shift in mindset has completely changed the trajectory of my life. This has allowed me to be a better mother, grandmother, partner, friend, employer, and of course child of God. 

Take a look in the rearview of your life. Think back to a monumental moment, maybe the birth of a child, a wedding day, a death in the family, a diagnosis of some sort…think about the space between that day and today. Recognize all the growth you have experienced and smile. Feel the confidence that streams through you…use the confidence to pursue the thing that scares you most because your history has already proven, no matter what, you will get through it, and be better for it on the other end.