Over a month ago, I was feeling like I had been putting so much effort into certain things and they weren’t playing out the way I wanted them to. I was feeling like I should be at a certain point in life, or doing certain things in life but and I wasn’t where I had planned to be. The thing is, I’m very critical of myself. My mom told me the same when I called her balling my eyes out once. She said I set very high expectations for myself and so when it so happens that I don’t achieve the said expectations, I throw myself down a path of self pity and self-loathing.
The problem isn’t that I set high expectations for myself. It has to do with how I plan to achieve what I desire and the period of time set to achieve what I want to (That’s a whole other blog for another day). Of course the time I had that conversation with my mom, it had to do with a test I had written badly but I can still apply what she said to many aspects of my life.
For example, I set goals at the beginning of every year and some of my goals this year were to blog more consistently, which we can all see isn’t quite working out yet, read my Bible more often and a bunch of other things. I have been working on some of the goals and others I just forgot about. I only remembered them when I looked around me and saw other people doing the exact same things (and even more) that I said I wanted to do at the beginning of the year. Why haven’t I achieved them yet? And why does it look so much easier for them than it is for me?
Also, and from a more faith related perspective, as I said earlier, there are certain things I hoped to have achieved by now and I expected to be going down a path very different from the one I’m on now. I don’t know what those things are but I just felt that way. I looked at the people around me and everyone seemed to have something going for themselves and even if they didn’t, they were happy and content with themselves. But this is where I was reminded that most times my plans aren’t perfect and neither is the time limit I set for myself. That there is a higher power who oversees all things and who is the perfect keeper of time.
Where am I going with this? One day, as I was thinking about all those things and feeling sorry for myself, I scrolled through my Instagram feed and landed on a post by Morgan Harper Nichols, a poet and artist. In that particular post, she wrote about how sometimes things seem to be going well for everyone around you but you. How it seems like the world carries on without you and how sometimes you may just feel left out or left behind. One thing she said that really struck me was:
“May you never mistake the Light you see in someone else as something so great it could never be your own. For the same Light you see in others is shining within you too. The same joy you see in others is available to you too.”
I have never related to a post on Instagram as much as I did that one and to this day, I occasionally go back to my saved posts just to read that again and remind myself of how there’s still room for my laughter. We are all running different races and we are all in our own lanes. Don’t lose your breath trying to run a race that’s not yours to run. It may seem far but your finish line is right there and it’s not going to move till you cross it. So even when everything around you may be moving to fast, or you feel left behind, just know that you are running your own race and focus on that. You may not get to the end as fast as the rest of the world may, or you might have a few hurdles to jump over along the way but always remember that the clock never stops ticking, the finish line will never move and you’ll get there eventually.
Seeing that really changed my perspective of certain things and really positively impacted me. So just a reminder, it doesn’t matter if the person in the next room laughs louder than you, if they seem to have a more exciting life than you do or if they have better things than you do. Always remember that even if people may not hear you laugh, you can still laugh, you still have a life and you’re running your own race in your own lane. Lastly, be you and do you.
I’m going to share Morgan Harper Nichols’ post below but if you can, please follow her Instagram profile @morganharpernichols to see her art and be inspired by the poetry she does.
Finally, for my usual scripture, never forget: