I know I shouldn’t compare myself with others. There’ll always be someone who is kinder, wiser, and taller than I am. But it’s not so easy to let go of comparisons when it seems like I’m the only one in a group that isn’t measuring up.
A recent experience of this triggered my fear of not belonging. It compelled me to make plans to improve myself and become a more actualized person. I began to wonder if God was turning up the heat. After all, as a counsellor friend would say, “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” In the turmoil, I was so tempted to try to become the person I think I should be.
I’ve been reading Richard Rohr’s Immortal Diamond: The Search for the True Self. It helped me realize that if I did try to remake myself, I’d only be constructing a false self. And that passive-aggressive god who stokes the fire of my insecurity? That’s a false god.
I remember Rob Des Cotes once said that the Christian life isn’t about having a picture of the Christian we think we should be and striving to become that person. God created us uniquely and is still creating us. God is the only one who knows what our True Selves look like. “So we need to be discoverers,” he said, “on a path of discovering who we are in Christ.”
I hold this truth and relax my grip on the desire to change myself. As soon as I do, the pinch of not measuring up or fitting in returns. I take a deep breath and invite the real God to meet me in my real life. One by one, I name “what is” that I wish wasn’t. I welcome the pinch of disappointment that brings.
Right in the middle of the turmoil I want to flee, I see my Creator looking at me with great joy. I can tell, that joy isn’t coming from a knowing that someday I will be more Christlike. It’s rooted in the now. God enjoys who I am right here, right now.
As I remain in Love’s gaze, I think back to my experience of being in that group where I felt as if I wasn’t measuring up. I recall my friends’ faces, their words, their touch. Not a hint of judgment. No sense of sacrificial acceptance of me. They looked at me the same way my Creator does.
And I am invited to join them–to see what they see and share their joy.
I would love to live like a river flows,
carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.
* * *
The City of Burnaby hosted a public hearing for a proposed supportive housing complex for individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless on August 28, 2018. Karen O’Shannacery of the Society to End Homelessness in Burnaby said, “The city reported 27 letters had been received and 7 people made presentations urging the city to approve the project. No one spoke against the project. Given the lack of opposition at the hearing, it is hoped that the Mayor and Council will next positively consider the rezoning bylaw (2nd reading) on Monday, September 17th during regular council meeting starting at 7 pm. Once built, the supportive housing facility would be the first of its kind in Burnaby. The province has committed to spending $7.6 million to build 52 units on a city-owned lot at 3986 Norland St. B.C. Housing hopes to begin work on the site in October and finish construction in March 2019, but first the property must be rezoned.” Thank you, Karen and all those who wrote letters, attended the meeting, and made presentations. Let’s hope Mayor Corrigan and the council join this love mischief.