Sunday Letter, Jan. 10th: Does the Thief of Comparison ever Pick your Pocket?

Sunday Letter, Jan. 10th: Does the Thief of Comparison ever Pick your Pocket?
Good Morning,
Yesterday I tried to paint a painting. I do this every once in a while. I will try a new art or craft and it always brings me to a special place. I start the process with such hope and belief in myself. With in hours I learn that the painting I had been admiring were the results of hundreds of hours of work and preparation. The painter had made hundreds of paintings before I saw the one I admired. And here I was with a paint brush in hand, having given a few random hours of service to the art over the years and expecting magic. Welcome to the land of humility.
Humility is a good place to visit. It shows you what you lack but it also shows you what you have, what you can do. I learn so much about myself whenever I try something new. I have those paintings I worked on yesterday leaning up against the cupboard in my little studio and they make me realize how much love it takes to get good at anything. And that leads me to a sentence I wrote last week.
Last week I wrote, "When I am lost in a rug the thief of comparison is not picking my pocket." I thought about that a lot this week. I really like that sentence. I thought about how is easy it is to get sucked into the trap of comparison. I am always surprised and slightly comforted to know that I am not actually alone in this habit of watching others glow and feeling a bit of myself fade away. For that is what happens when I compare myself to others, often people I barely know, I feel diminished.
And we live in a time when the thief of comparison is waiting around the corner in every crowded space. I can get sucked into believing that everyone has a custom walk in closet or are looking for an apartment in Vienna.
I can forget as easily as anyone that the instagram post is just one second in a day. A second that is primed and planned and posted. I need to remember that outside of that little frame someone has a life. A life that needs tending, and love, and compassion. A life like any life.
We all carry a load. Sometimes the load is full of fun and joy and love, and at times there are burdens on that load. We all have stuff and that stuff does not show up on instagram or facebook posts. No one talks much about that stuff on House Hunters and thats ok cause we need a bit of fantasy. The stuff behind all the fantasy is the stuff of a life. It is mornings with messy hair, no makeup, and a coffee stain on your nightgown.
In my house it is the wet winter clothes hanging off the door, the mess of the firewood strewn all over the back room, the remnants of last nights tea and toast on the counter, socks at the bottom of the stairs. These are not a mess, they are signs of life. They are the reminder that this home is lived in, that people belong here, that we are here together in this time and place. And yes, even with knowing all that, the toast crumbs and dirty socks still get on my nerves.
I am seriously looking for beauty all around me. As I seek inspiration I remind myself that beauty is a collection of things. It is not just what is presented on the outside, it is the deep within, it is in the undergrowth, it is in the messy, the unseen, the misunderstood. Beauty is real. It is not just an instagram post, or a Sunday letter, or show. It is everything that went into that, and it isn't pretty all the time.
So this morning I judge my painting this morning so much less harshly than I did yesterday. I see that there are layers of not so great work underneath it. And I see that the top layer, is just that, another layer. It's unfinished, and there is so much to learn before it will ever be done. And that's ok. It does not need to be like the beautiful art I have seen somewhere else. It needs to tell my story.
My rugs are like that too. Each time I make one I grow. Each one is a layer that tells a little story of my life. Each one informs me of what I have learned and what is left to learn. And now I am going to hook another layer, and I am not going to worry about what others are doing cause I am busy with this one little life I have been given.
Go off now and hook, and enjoy your day, enjoy your life because it is full of the sweetness that only you can bring it. There is no comparison.
Thank you for reading,

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  • Angela Davis
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