DON’T COMPARE! There is no other you.

This is a continuation of last week’s blog. Sort of.

Last time I threw out my vulnerability in a blog. I had a day when I felt I wouldn’t measure up. This isn’t the norm, but I had a moment and wanted to use what was really happening: Comparison. When I look at other ranch wives, am I good enough?

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I didn’t do it because I’m depressed or insecure. (I used to be years ago, but that’s a blog entry for another day.)

I didn’t share because I felt inadequate, although it has happened before.

I shared because recently I’ve heard a lot of women and girls talk about how they couldn’t do something because someone else was better than them. I’m sure we all feel that way sometimes, but we should never let that drive our actions. I was hoping that by sharing what I felt, it might change something.

When things are shared, their power is often broken–like a secret that’s no longer a secret. We are all in this humanity boat together and I can’t imagine there is a single person who hasn’t compared themselves to someone else and fallen short.

I wanted to share the reality of comparison in the hopes that by being real, its power would be broken. I desire to be authentic and raw because I just can’t do fake. It’s exhausting.

Lisa Bevere in her book, “Without Rival”, states, “In life there are no neat categories. Life at its best is messy. The truth is that everyone’s life is much more complex than what we see.” She speaks of the dangers of classifying people.*

Classifying people (in my mind) puts them in places they may never want to be. In school there are popular groups and if you aren’t in the popular group the message is…well, you just aren’t as good. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There aren’t people who are better than anyone else. We are all human.

There are people who are more driven. People who work hard. People who love one activity more than another. But at each of our cores? Human.

Why do we do it then? Why do we compare?

My belief is that we do it to belong.

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We were created for relationship. Humans long to have a place to belong–a place where they feel comfortable and “fit in”. When we look at others, sometimes it is simply trying to figure out our place. “Is this person someone I feel good being around?” We don’t have to share the same interests or have the same opinions to befriend someone, but our closest friends will be the ones who know the true us, our authentic selves. These are people with whom we must feel safe. My circle of friends I go to bat for, stand up for, and I know they’ll do the same for me. I can’t compare myself to them. They need me to be me and I need them to be them.

The same is true for others outside our inner circle. Not everyone will be safe. Not everyone will understand you. I know people who don’t understand me. That doesn’t mean I mold myself to what they need me to be. It doesn’t mean I hide from them either. It means that I hold on to my identity and be me. Without comparing. Without measuring my talent against theirs. We all have strengths and weaknesses and they aren’t going to be the same as someone else’s.

My friends, ranch wives and city friends alike, you and I were made for a purpose. There is much we CAN accomplish. It will never be fulfilling through the eyes of comparison.

Let’s stay strong. Life isn’t easy. But I’m so glad we’re in it together.

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*Lisa Bevere’s book is a great read for Christian women looking to embrace their identity.

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WHO AM I? Confronting the ME I want to be…

 Sept. 2017 moving cows to Cramp Springs 021

Recently I’ve felt uncertain of myself.

More than likely, it’s because I’ve been out of my comfort zone. I’ve had to do things in the past six months that I’ve never done. I’ve even had to pretend I was stronger than I really am.

Here’s the deal: I am a ranch wife and there are things that happen here that don’t happen anywhere else. There is laundry that needs to be washed, re-washed, and the machine disinfected. There are bizarre injuries, land issues that couldn’t be dreamed of, and I…

I…

Well, I feel inadequate. I’ve seen other ranch wives who take pictures of solutions they thought of in less than one second. I’ve tasted perfect dishes that when I ask for the recipe I hear, “Oh, a little of this and a little of that…” As if they never had to try. I’ve seen ranch wives throw on their husband’s flannel shirt and a pair of jeans first thing in the morning and look like they could be ready for a cover shoot. I’ve watched amazing women saddle up and outride their men.

I… Ugh.

That’s not me. Google and Pinterest are my resource solutions. I use recipes with real measurements. And if you see me first thing in the morning, well, I may need to identify myself, let alone be ready for any kind of picture. As for riding, my mount usually has a motor and four wheels.

Maybe I just need to get all this off my chest so I don’t give you any false impressions.

Or, maybe I’m writing this because in church yesterday I heard this phrase: “We live according to who we think we are.”

Insecurity says, “What’s wrong with me?” and you live trying to make something happen. Some things you can make happen–others you can’t. Trying to force things though is controlling and it really doesn’t help anything.

Ranching is tough. So is life. Things don’t always turn out how we think they should. BUT…that isn’t all life is. It’s beautiful and hopeful.

Last week I watched my oldest daughter ride some rough country with a bunch of old guys. Her perseverance and tenacity made me proud. Beautiful.

She inspired me: To try new things. To quit letting myself feel “less-than”, especially when it comes to ranch wifery. I even “dumped” supper in the crock pot.

Inferiority and insecurity aren’t new; but they are downers. Someone is always going to be better than me. There are going to be things that take me longer than someone else.

But someone isn’t living in my house. Someone isn’t occupying my thoughts. I am.

Maybe you’ve never struggled with knowing what it’s like to not measure up. Maybe you’ve been invited to every party. Maybe you’re at the top. However, I bet we all have areas where we feel “less-than”. Perhaps bad circumstances scar our identities. I could rattle off a few. However, if we live out of those thoughts of hurt and failure, we never begin to live out of who we really are. I’m imperfect, but still a ranch wife. Not a shiny buckle cowgirl, just regular ‘ol me. But I’ve learned a lot. I can cook for a crew. I can vaccinate cattle. I can irrigate. I can run a house and a four-wheeler. I love animals. I help my husband who is a full-on rancher. I have a passion for agriculture. So, maybe I can’t quilt. Maybe I won’t break any colts…

I’m still a ranch wife. A cowboy wife.

I think Dr. Seuss’s words may be timeless on this subject:

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