“For everything I’m not, there’s something that I am.”
One of the biggest problems we create for ourselves is this focus on what we’re not. We look at others and see them doing things we wish we could or even wishing we could be just like them (or our perception of who we believe they are). When I was a teen I for sure did this too. I thought I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough. I would look at other girls who I thought had it all and I’d wish I were like them. Meanwhile berating myself for all the things I wasn’t.
When I became an adult I’d still do this but in other areas. I wasn’t talented enough, successful enough, organized enough. In our early years of marriage we lived in Davis, CA – a total college town and I loved it. We lived in on-campus housing for a while with lots of other poor college students as well and it was great. Then my visiting teacher, Shelly, came by to introduce herself and she was beautiful and kind and had so much education under her belt already.
I spent a lot of time and energy trying to make our tiny 500 sq ft apartment into a home. My husband and I were both in school and didn’t have much money at all so I made our bedding, our curtains. I painted a hutch we got from a yard sale for $5 to make it look cute. I did my best to upholster and cover an ugly couch we got for free. I felt pretty good about what I had been able to create for ourselves until I went to Shelly’s tiny 500 sq ft apartment. It looked like Martha Stewart came over and personally decorated it herself. She had gorgeous curtains and a brand new leather couch (not a poorly covered hand me down one). She had a real bed set (not a hand sewn one). Everything was beautiful and SHE was beautiful.
And even though I was so envious of where she was at, the things she had, her accomplishments I didn’t dislike her. I couldn’t dislike her she herself was this gorgeous person inside too. She was so kind and caring and that only made me feel even worse.
I was so focused on everything that I wasn’t that I felt like I wasn’t anything special.
I was so focused on everything that SHE was that I forgot everything that I was.
I was so focused on everything SHE had that I forgot everything that I had and that I had created.
How much of the time do you spend thinking about what’s lacking?
a good enough mother, father, son, daughter
your house isn’t CLEAN enough
What is it you focus on? This is important because what you focus on grows. What you choose to focus on creates your reality, your perception of reality.
For everything you’re NOT, there’s something that YOU ARE.
At that time in college I would have created a very different world for me if I had chosen to look at things through this light. I would have been able to be a better friend to Shelly. I really did like her but because I wasn’t secure with myself and each time I thought of her I thought of MY lack, I couldn’t be good friends with her. I couldn’t rejoice in everything she was because all I could see was everything I wasn’t. How different things might have been if I had seen me for who I was and who I was becoming and loved her for her and all she had accomplished and how far she had come to get where she was.
“Sometimes we feel discouraged because we are not “more” of something—more spiritual, respected, intelligent, healthy, rich, friendly, or capable. Naturally, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve. God created us to grow and progress. But remember, our weaknesses can help us to be humble and turn us to Christ, who will “make weak things become strong.”4 Satan, on the other hand, uses our weaknesses to the point that we are discouraged from even trying.
I learned in my life that we don’t need to be “more” of anything to start to become the person God intended us to become.” -Elder Deiter F. Uchtdorf
You do not need to be any MORE than you already are.
You already are incredible.
For everything you are NOT – there is something that you ARE.
At that time I struggled so much with this I made this mental list in my mind of all the things I wasn’t:
I wasn’t smart enough because I didn’t have my degree yet
I wasn’t successful enough because I didn’t have a career yet
I wasn’t pretty enough because I didn’t look like Shelly
I wasn’t rich enough because I could only afford to repurpose things and not buy new
I wasn’t charitable enough because Shelly was so much more than I was
The list went on and on…
But for EVERYTHING that I’m not, there’s something that I AM…
Here’s what that side of the list would have said:
I am smart enough. I was in college, taking hard courses, and succeeding!
I was successful enough because I was also teaching music lessons, going to school full time, and I was a MOTHER. I had a baby girl at that time and let me tell ya…I was SUPER MOM. We did everything together. We painted, cooked, crafted, walked, read books, etc. I excelled at being a mother.
I wasn’t pretty like Shelly with her sleek straight hair. I was pretty like ME, with my unruly curls and wild hair.
I wasn’t rich enough to buy new but I WAS rich enough in talent, purpose, and creativity to make lemons into lemonade and I loved our tiny apartment and how lovely our little abode was.
I wasn’t charitable enough because I was so blinded with lack, with scarcity, with comparison that I wasn’t focused on my strengths and character. I was serving in more than one calling. I was a great visiting teacher myself. I was kind, loving, and giving. I just blocked myself from seeing it because of what I chose to focus on.
“Envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving. Obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know!” -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
It’s time to stop chasing to focus on what we believe we’re lacking because when we choose to shine the light on all we are, all we already DO have, it’ll be amazing the transformation that happens.
Try this. Every time you go to spotlight something you think you’re not I want you to tell yourself there’s also something that I am.
For everything you’re not, there’s something that you are. What is THAT? Find the thing you ARE. Not because we don’t want to improve or become more but because you’ll never hate yourself into it. You need to love, encourage, and show appreciation for how far you’ve already come. This will get you there and this will also help you to LOVE your life, yourself, and others on your journey to becoming.
Download this FREEBIE and try it out.
Something that I AM See what happens and then let me know! I would love to hear from you!
Have a great day my friends!
By the way, don’t forget to check out the podcast! This week I talk about all the feels! It’s a GOOD one, you won’t want to miss it!