I took my kids to the park the other day. This park was not located in our town, but in a town about 45 minutes away. The kids had been begging to go play at the “sand park” with their new shovels, toys, and sand-castle tools! I was pretty excited as well!
Quick Disclaimer – this is not meant to insult anyone in any way – it is intended to help us all become real with ourselves and WHO we are..just as we are!
When we pulled up, I noticed the parking lot was full (rare for this park). We unloaded (which is a process with 3 small kids, toys, diapers, bags, and more), but when we finally start to walk over to the sand, I stopped for a minute. Over by the playground was a group of about 10-12 women. All dressed very nicely, hair done perfectly, good figures, make up seemed flawless, and it made me want to take my “sweatpants and hoodie dressed self” back to the car. For a split second, it made me hope they didn’t look at me. Why? Why did seeing a group of women bring up these feelings in me? Why would I be ashamed of myself because of what someone else looks like??
WE ALL DO IT and have all done it! Comparison is the thief of true joy. Comparing our bodies, our hair, our make up, our…you name it…with others is never a good thing. When we feel like we are not like others, we feel insecure.
So, back to the sand…I put those insecure feelings aside as soon as I took one look at my three amazing kids. They had smiles on their face, sand toys in hand, and they were SO EXCITED to be at the elusive sand park! So, we got to the sand and got to work! We started digging, building, creating, and having a blast. We had sand everywhere!! Taylor (my 11 mo old) even ate some of it!! Yes, mother of the year award for that one 🙂 I kept glancing over at the ladies, and would catch them looking over at us. In no way do I believe they were talking about us, but it did make me feel judged and uneasy. However, I just kept playing away with my kids. At that moment, I was sad for them. Sad they were missing out on the fun. I was also happy. Happy I was able to enjoy these moments with my kids!
All the while, other kids were starting to come over to the sand to play. These other kids were the children of the ladies standing talking. As their kids got in the sand, several different ladies yelled out to their kids “Don’t get your hair in the sand, Johny” or “Do you know how dirty that sand is Sally?”. I just smiled as we were all COVERED in sand.
Soon, those kids started coming over to play with us! They saw how much fun we were having building sand castles. We were laughing, carrying on, screaming for joy when our castles would stick. Just having a great time together.
Then, it hit me. During this sand adventure, I was able to watch how I have changed over the years. Obviously, I am not totally healed of it, but I feel I have gotten more confident in WHO I am and HOW I am. I have gotten better at not comparing myself with other women. Why? Here I was having a BLAST with my kids, enjoying these young years (that seem to be flying by), and I felt about who I am. I felt like I was doing exactly what I needed and wanted to be doing. Again, I am not judging these ladies or saying what they were doing was wrong. I am saying that I can be confident in who I am. I can wear a hoodie and not have make up on,and be okay with that. I can also be okay with others that do have nicer clothes on, make up done, hair done, and look better than I do. It’s not about what we wear, how we look, what size we wear, it is about who we are. Who we are is always enough!
I wanted to share this with you so that you can see my struggles, in hopes you can relate. I know all women face these feelings. We all have struggles of comparison, competition, self-doubt, and more. I want us all as women to STOP this. I want us to start to appreciate the women God created us to be. I want us to be thankful for every moment in our lives with our family, our kids, and to experience life – not waste it with comparison to others.
So…go play in the sand, don’t worry who is watching, get some sand in your hair and LIVE!
God made each of us, and He doesn’t make mistakes.