The bluish hue from his monitor provides but a splash of illumination. He's hunkered down in his chair, looking for inspiration. He doesn't find any. Rather, as he flips through pages of material, he becomes more and more discouraged. He isn't nearly that put together. He doesn't provide that much value. His efforts pale in comparison. Eventually, he gives up in disgust. Why bother?
If that young man wasn't me, I'd tell him that his inputs and work is valuable. I'd remind him that he has a unique story and perspective to share. His work is meaningful because he's honing his skills and learning to help those around him. This is a process, and he's getting better.
Sadly, it is me.
While I don't use Pinterest, I can relate to the overwhelmed feeling of finding 1,000 reasons why I'm failing at all things domestic... minus the domestic part. I don't much try in that department. But the feelings spill over into my blogging and spiritual life, my hobbies and work, my relationships and marriage. It's so easy to become discouraged when I compare myself to others.
The funny thing about this is that the reason we do the comparing is because we're concerned about others. We want to provide our family with more color and interest. We want to be a better spouse. We long to love our friends--and enemies--better. We're not doing this for ourselves!
If this was just about me, I'd be content. I'd move at my own pace and do the things that interest me. But there are people out there whom I hope to bless, to build up, to spur on to bigger and better things. They are the people I feel I'm letting down by not being enough.
But as April reminds us in her post: Your children want you. See, becoming a better person and developing skills is great, but what I need to somehow understand is that the people I so often try to do things for care more about being with me.
I don't understand it. But I can see it in action with how I feel about my friends and family. And April describes this desire to be with the people we love beautifully when she talks about her mom in the post.
By all means, get encouragement and ideas from blogs and forums and friends and the creative spaces on the internet. But when you start to feel like failure, go give your family a hug and spend some time with them.
You ever get overwhelmed by all the amazing things you can find on the internet?
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester