I reveled in the attention, as one stepping into sunlight after countless days of rain.
As a painfully shy child who found making friends difficult, my then six year old self delighted in the crowd of children who surrounded me. Each one there to admire the fluffy little bunny I cradled in my arms. My new bunny shook with fear. I trembled with the joy of acceptance.
Days later, my new friends still wanted to talk about my sand-colored bunny—appropriately named Sandy. After just one successful show and tell, I suddenly had something to talk about with people. I had a way to connect with kids I had never been able to connect with before. And I loved it.
But then….Emily got a bunny.
And I got jealous.
The same crowd that had surrounded me, now surrounded her. The same questions that had been asked of me, were now being asked of her. I envied her attention. I resented her bunny. I longed to once again feel the warmth of the spotlight.
And so I pouted. I wallowed. And I never went over to look at her bunny.
I still feel bad about that.
And granted I was only six, but what if…..
What if I would have walked over to her and said, “I really like your bunny. Maybe our bunnies could play together sometime.” Or “hey, you have a bunny, I have a bunny. Wanna make a bunny club?”
What if instead of seeing her bunny as a threat, I had viewed it as an opportunity to connect?
(ok, so maybe not thoughts a six-year-old would have, but certainly thoughts grown-ups could have!)
So much of my life has been spent comparing myself to others and finding myself lacking.
Her house is nicer.
She’s far more talented.
She’s a much better writer.
Her dog doesn’t act like a maniac when company is over!
What if instead of viewing each of those statements as a threat, I turned it around as a chance to connect?
What if I made an effort to get to know the woman behind the beautiful face? Her hopes, her dreams, her fears. For surely just because her face could grace a magazine cover doesn’t make her immune from insecurities, fears and…life.
What if I asked the lady with the nice house to share some decorating tips with me? Or what if I got over myself and committed to invite someone over to my house to extend the same hospitality that I was shown?
What if I decided to support another’s talent? Show up for her. Cheer for her? Encourage her to reach for her dreams?
What if I learned from another writer? What if I supported her work? What if instead of viewing her words as a threat, I shared her words with others? For what if her words breathe life into someone who is on my friend’s list? What if her words were meant to be shared through me?
And what if…well…what if I just hire the lady with the well behaved dog to come train mine!!! You guys, the struggle is real!
Each one of us has value, purpose, and meaning.
Each life is precious and sacred and important.
And yet, the only place comparison ever takes us is away from who we are meant to be.
So let’s ask God to expose areas of pride, jealousy and doubt. And replace them with humility, love and trust.
And let’s embrace the gifts, talents and abilities that God has given each one of us, let’s celebrate them in each other, so that we can all become who He created us to be.
And if you ever get the opportunity to form a bunny club…take it!!!