For the longest time, my insecurities made me an extremely talkative and self-flattering person (something that’s not easy to admit). I still enjoy talking, it’s part of my bubbly personality, but I’ve learnt to pause in between, ask about the person I am talking to, and listen. I realised that I’d only scratched the surface of people who had been in my life for the longest time. I decided not only to listen, but to allow people to shine.
We all appreciate praise and welcome a pat on the back for our accomplishments and/or good deeds. What I’ve learnt inside my marriage is that modesty is often more graceful. More so, I’ve learnt that I do not need to keep up with the accomplishments of others. Yet, living that out is not always easy.
Often, we see the material possessions of people’s successes, and it is so easy to measure ourselves against that- either coming off ‘better’ or ‘worse’. I think it’s important to remember that it is not a competition. More importantly, it’s crucial that we stop the ‘l’ thoughts and remember to celebrate with our friends. Their successes don’t necessarily amount to our failures; us celebrating them doesn’t equal our acknowledgement of our shortcomings either. We walk different journeys and we need to allow those around us to shine.
It is easier said than done. I’m more than okay when my front door is closed and my cellphone is not in my hand- but I think that I’m learning to say congratulations and well done without bringing myself into the conversation. Well, I’m trying to do that.
But it’s about more than success and failure. People are different and difference can make us uncomfortable. I know that I feel safest around those who share my values and ideas. I’m extremely challenged when I’m in the company of those who I perceive to be more free or conservative. My husband often reminds me not to boss him into sharing my opinion. On occasion I need to check myself because difference isn’t ‘wrong’ it’s just different and I need to allow others to shine in their difference.
Let’s celebrate ourselves, always, and let’s allow others to be great, too!