Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net No two butterflies are the same - but they're all beautiful.
I have heard that no two snow flakes are the same. I am not sure, but I am pretty sure that no two butterflies are the same either. However, few would say that one snow flake or butterfly is better than the next. They are all beautiful in their own way. Likewise, each human being is like a butterfly. We all have wings to fly, and our individual strengths and personalities are like the different colours of the butterfly...all beautiful.
I use to wish I had blonde hair, because I was the only kid in my class with black hair. Now, I accept that my hair is what it isÖblack and perhaps frizzy and going a little grey, but itís Justine. At uni, I have wished that I was the person who got perfect marks, whereas I have passed but hardly consider myself exceptional. However, I have a lot of other things that define me. They neither make me better or worse than anyone else - just different. Just like every single person has a personality that makes them uniquely them.
The truth is, we canít really ever be happy, or feel whole and contented if we continue to wish we were like somebody else. We are us. We were born unique. We waste our talents and our strengths if we spend time trying to change ourselves to be like someone else. I might not be as pretty or as smart as some people I know; but I am good with animals and children, and I have a good sense of humour for example. I choose to enjoy those qualities in myself, and to work with those qualities in myself.
Thatís not to say that I donít see where I can improve. For example, I can try to emulate some qualities that I donít have naturally such as being organised. However, I still make my place my own, and donít try to essentially change myself in the process.
The benefits of not comparing yourself with other people are as follows:
You are yourself. We are most likeable when we are ourselves. This also increases our feelings of authenticity.
You can celebrate your own strengths while recognising your own weaknesses. Use your strengths to improve your life. Enjoy them and share them with others. When we use our own strengths, we can make the biggest contributions.
We can enjoy improved self-esteem. You canít like yourself if you donít accept yourself. Life becomes less about competition and basing your self-worth on how you measure up next to someone else. Rather it can be founded on personal growth. We can set personal goals that are just for us. A personal best.
When we accept ourselves, people around us find it easier to accept themselves too. How many times have you heard, particularly among women that ďOh I am so fat,Ē and the next lady says ďOh but I am fatter." If we are comfortable with ourselves, we donít get into conversations that end up making everyone feel inadequate.
We live in accordance with our own values. When comparing ourselves with others, our values automatically become the values of the person we are trying to be like.
Some suggestions to make it easier to be yourself, and stop wishing you were like somebody else are to:
Make a list of your unique attributes. Identify your strengths and work with them. Identify your unique weaknesses. Work with them to decrease them.
Realise that everyone is good at different things. Everyone has a unique gift and something to offer. It might not be someone elseís, but God gave it to you. Enjoy it. Our best contributions come from our unique talents.
With body image, love your body now. This doesnít mean you canít lose weight if itís for your health. However, you have to like your body in the first place to do the right thing for it. Write a list of your three favourite body parts.
Stand tall and smile.
Whenever you see a butterfly, remind yourself that each one is different and beautiful.