Monday, February 17, 2014

Your Life, Your Movie

"Stay In Your Own Movie"
~ DeVon Franklin
When my son was a young child, he would talk about going to various friend's houses to play and how wonderful their house was, how great their snacks were and how nice their parents were and how perfect everything always seemed when he was there at whatever friends house he happened to be.  Sometimes he would even tell me that the parents of some of his friends never even ever argued.  Ever.
First I told him that they were waiting for him to leave so they could have their argument and then I would smile and tell him that I was glad he liked to go and play with his friends at their house and that his friends were always welcome to also come to our house to play.  And they would.  A lot.  And as my son grew up it was wonderful to see many different friends run in and out of our house as he hung out with lots of his friends, old and new.
My son's vision of other people's lives as perfect is something that I fall into too and maybe this happens to you too.  It's easy to look at another person's life, whether a friend or someone you don't know well at all, and think that just because it all looks good, you know what I mean -- the house, the car, the children, the spouse, the job -- that theirs is a perfect life.  However, here's a major spoiler: It's not.  I'm not saying that if someone else's situation looks good then it's got to be bad.  I'm just remarking on the possibility that behind all those things that  look good sometimes there lurks a lot of burdens and troubles and problems because they aren't always obvious to others.
The parental insight I offered to my son goes something like this: there will always be people who have more than you and there will always be people who have less than you.  Yes, it's a normal thing to want to improve your life and work towards goals that get you to a better place but don't set yourself up by comparing your life to theirs because you might end up being dissatisfied and unhappy.
Instead, look at the blessings and gifts in your life and be happy and proud of what you have worked hard to earn or achieve.  Your talents are unique and not like anyone else's.  It is hard not to compare because sometimes it is so in your face.  But there is more to someone else's story than you know and there are always trade offs being made for what arrives in your life.  I have found there is a certain quiet grace to having the confidence to live within your means and being at peace with the path you have chosen.  Your life is just as special as anyone else's.
Continue to develop your gifts and appreciate the wonders in your life for there is always something new to learn, something new to discover. 
Focus on what is happening in your life instead of comparing your life to someone else's.  Comparing is a waste of time.  You only have a partial picture of what is going on with others.
But you know the whole picture of what is happening to you so put your energy on you and the people you care about.
It's your life, your movie, so stay in it, as DeVon Franklin says, and try to make every day a block buster!!

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