You know, it’s just struck me how so many of us are so busy ‘competing’ for attention / kudos / success / popularity etc, that it’s making it really hard for us to appreciate what other people are actually trying to do to build the world. (As always, I’m talking about myself…)
Someone sent me a newsletter for her new website: it was beautifully done, and very colourful and professional. My first thought was: ‘Wow! This looks so impressive!’
My second thought was: ‘Man, I could never do something this good…’
My third thought was: ‘What the heck am I saying??!?!?’
Because instead of appreciating the time and effort that had gone into my correspondant’s beautiful site, my yetzer instead had me wasting time and effort on tearing myself down.
I had to work for a good half an hour to stop feeling like a complete loser again, and to focus on what G-d (and Rav Arush…) want me to focus on, namely, gratitude.
Whenever I get sucked into ‘competing’, I can’t be grateful for the beautiful light others are shining into the world.
The ‘plus’ that G-d sends my way turns into a ‘minus’, and instead of feeling happy that there are such amazing things going on around me, I start fretting that someone else’s light is somehow detracting from my own.
But it’s baloney!!
Once I worked all that out, I decided I needed to call the person in question, and tell her how great her site looked. I needed to appreciate her time and effort, and get my own insecurities out the way. So I did.
I’m currently re-learning, for the millionth time, that it’s not a competition. There is enough success / attention / kudos / appreciation / light available for everyone, and instead of worrying that I’m not ‘good enough’, I just need to appreciate all the good out there, and to trust that G-d will help me to shine my own light in whatever way it needs to happen, whenever it needs to happen.