Why does another person’s creativity, talent, or amazing parenting threaten my worth and abilities?
This is a question I’ve been asking myself lately. I want to be happy for and celebrate my friends’ accomplishments, however as I’ve learned to pay attention to my everyday emotions, I’ve noticed when other’s succeed, my default is downplaying, demonizing, and denouncing myself.
That’s the question I’ve learned to ask when I notice emotions I don’t like or want. But I don’t get to ask why once. I don’t ask why, then have a cherub descend by chariot with a scroll revealing the answer. Asking why is slow, ugly, and inefficient. It’s looking for answers in Scripture, prayer, and with godly friends, then repeating process indefinitely.
As I asked why other people’s success usually subconsciously translates into my own inferiority, God answered in a variety of ways. I remembered watching a beautiful, talented, and successful friend let a break up shatter her self-worth. I recall wishing she could see herself like I did and shortly after that hearing what I sensed was the Spirit whispering,
“Laura, I wish you could see yourself like I do.”
Another day, a verse I was going to be teaching on jumped off the page at me,
“YOU are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works that I prepared for you in advance.”
And while reading about David trying to unsuccessfully fight with Saul’s battle armor, I saw a note I’d written in the margin of my Bible that made me tear up,
You be You.
Why go through the wait, wonder, and horror of asking “Why?” about unwanted emotions? Because God meets me there. He frees me there. Because the more I like myself, the more I organically and genuinely can celebrate the success of others, without feeling I’m not as good as they are. And those are everyday emotions, I want and can celebrate.