Trust Your Journey, Even When You Do Not Understand It

Dear Someone,

This letter is for you, you that have become so miserable ever since you started comparing yourself to people you think are doing better than you. You that is feeling depressed from comparing yourself to your friends wishing that you had the friendships they have.

This letter is for you, you that is comparing your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20. You that is comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle. You that is trying to be someone that you’re not.

You that stumbled on this letter, I want you to know that this is a long letter, but I wish you would read it to the end. I know how much you hate long letters, and how pressed you are for your time but unfortunately I don’t know of any other way of telling you to stop comparing yourself with others.

If you’re like me, I’m sure that from the very beginning you have been told to always compare yourself with others — your peers, classmates, colleagues, friends, family members, etc. While it doesn’t matter how you ended up this way, what everyone else is doing and what everyone else has accomplished, it does matter if you are always comparing yourself to someone. It does matter because “it’s your journey”.

In your journey of life, you have to be patient with yourself knowing that we all come from different places with diverse backgrounds. In your journey of life, you have to be patient with yourself knowing that we all have different skills, work at different rates, and we’ve all been through different situations and challenges at various times in our lives.

In your journey of life, you have to be patient with yourself knowing that we each are individuals, who started from different places. In your journey of life, you have to be patient with yourself knowing that you are unique and different from everyone here on earth.

In your journey of life, you have to be patient with yourself knowing that you are not required to fit into someone else’s definition of perfect. In your journey of life, you have to be patient with yourself knowing that you being yourself is good enough.

I don’t know how emotionally damaged you’re as a result of this, but if you will keep your focus on your reality, if you will keep your focus on your world, and your now moments, you will realize that they are the only things that matter.

That is why the author of Ecclesiastes said in chapter 9:1, “I reflected on all this, attempting to clear it all up. I concluded that the righteous and the wise, as well as their works, are in the hand of God; whether a person will be loved or hated — no one knows what lies ahead” (NET).

While God has given us His manual for life, you will never know what lies ahead of you if you keep holding on to bad energy instead of giving yourself a chance. You will never know what lies ahead of you if you can’t remind yourself that you are a work in progress who’s finally learning the importance of self-love.

You will never know what lies ahead of you if you fail to realize that happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to other people. You will never know what lies ahead of you if you failed to realize that the only person you should compare yourself to, is yourself. More importantly, you will never know what lies ahead of you, if you are always thinking that beauty is a size instead of loving your curves and all the little pieces of you that makes you unique.

If you are still reading this letter, I want you to never forget that you’ve come so far from where God picked you up from and now you have more wisdom and strength. You have come far from whom you used to be. You have come far from what used to keep you awake crying your eyes to sleep.

It is time for you to stop comparing yourself to other people. It is time for you to stop judging yourself by the people who excel or have an easier life, or who face few obstacles. It is time for you to realize that you’re an individual with your own personal strengths and weaknesses. Just because they’re not the same strengths and weaknesses as people you may admire doesn’t mean you’re any less admirable yourself.

It is time for you to realize that life is not fair and will never be a level playing field so don’t compare yourself. It is time for you to realize that just because you don’t look like somebody who you think is attractive doesn’t mean you aren’t attractive. It is time for you to stop terrorizing yourself with your negative thoughts. It is time for you to stop allowing your trauma, past rejections and temporary defeats lower your self-esteem so much that you compare yourself really harshly to others.

It is time for you to stop resenting other people’s success — it’s a lack of self-compassion manifesting as ego. It is time for you to realize that you are changing, and you have a lot to give to the world. It is time for you to realize that you are your only competition.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 (TLB) says, “Again I looked throughout the earth and saw that the swiftest person does not always win the race, nor the strongest man the battle, and that wise men are often poor, and skillful men are not necessarily famous; but it is all by chance, by happening to be at the right place at the right time”.

It doesn’t matter if you are at the right or wrong place right now as you read this letter. What matters is you realizing that it is time for you to focus on yourself because when you do, you will stop comparing yourself to others and start living by your own standards.

When you focus too much on how you rank with your friends or colleagues, how well your friends are doing compared to where you are, how many of your friends are married while you still remain single and how that the one that just got married a few months ago is pregnant already while you have been married for a few years, all that is going to exhaust you.

When you focus on others, you can’t put your full energy into focusing on your work and yourself. When you focus too much on what you can’t control, you’ll be overwhelmed by stress and anxiety. Today, more than ever before, focus on you, your goal and your own happiness instead because you belong.

It doesn’t matter if you struggle with your work, you belong. It doesn’t matter if you have remained in that position for too long, you belong. It doesn’t matter if you’re without a job right now, you belong for as long as you can focus on your own self-improvement and keep doing your best.

Don’t shut yourself away even if you are in a “blessed mess” right now, you belong. Learn to trust the journey, even when you do not understand it. Everybody has their own strengths, weaknesses, personalities and gifts. Become confident in whom God has made and called you to be.

Do your thing and have faith. Worry less about what others are doing and focus on you and your own progress. Allow your accomplishments to stand alone in your own head. Take pride in what you have overcome for yourself, and not in reference to the feats of your peers.

If you’re one of those that hate the thought of being alone, understand that your solitude is for a moment. Be kind to yourself knowing that it doesn’t matter if you are still single, you belong. Be kind to yourself knowing that it doesn’t matter if you’re separated or divorced, you belong. You’re not defined by how many goodbyes you have accepted.

You belong no matter how and what you feel right now. Don’t ever be afraid to cry knowing that there’s absolutely no shame and nothing lesser about you for not having dated anyone yet, and besides, there’s no need to rush or force anything.

Irrespective of where you are in life and how beaten you are emotionally, take it easy on yourself knowing that you belong. Being in a relationship is not a race, and simply because other people are having a relationship before you doesn’t mean you never will. You don’t have to rush into anything because you feel there’s a clock ticking down. There isn’t! Someday you’ll find someone special again. People who’ve been in love once usually do.

Stop comparing yourself to others, you that is still single and searching. Your value is not based upon your relationship status. Your value is not based on someone’s inability to see your worth. Your value is not based on what you look like, what you do, or who you know. Your value is not based on what other people think of you. Your value is not based on if someone married you or not.

Don’t destroy yourself thinking that you’re not worth it. Your worth — your value, is not based on any condition — your true value comes from knowing who you are in God. Your true value comes from knowing that you are enough and that you belong. Your true value comes from knowing that everyone’s path and relationship with deities is unique and incredibly personal. Your true value comes from knowing that you are whole, lovable and valuable regardless of whether you’ve been in a romantic relationship or not.

If you need to forgive yourself for the things you said when you were heartbroken, do so. If you need to forgive yourself for the things you did while you were trying to heal, do, and note where you have grown and changed. But never criticize yourself, and never compare yourself with anyone, it won’t help anything for everyone carries their weight differently. You owe it to yourself to beat your battles, survive today and come out stronger. You don’t have to compromise yourself love just because someone else is beautiful, or successful — you are and can be beautiful too.

Let me ask you this: What if the person you wish you were more like is probably wishing he is more like somebody else too? What if that neighbour whose marriage you’re envious of is all a social media charade of picture-perfect marriage? What if the girl you’re comparing yourself to is also comparing herself to someone else? If you keep trying to be that other girl, who’s going to be you? If you’re busy minding everyone’s businesses, who’s going to be minding yours?

Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t. Don’t get sucked into comparing yourself or trying to be someone you’re not just because it is what everyone else is doing. There’s more to life than comparing yourself to others on social media. There’s more to life than comparing yourself to others in your workplace. There’s more to life than stressing yourself out comparing your success and life goals to everyone else’s. There’s more to life than constantly having an opinion and comparing yourself to everything you see and hear.

Don’t compare yourself with other people, compare yourself with whom you were yesterday. Every minute you spend wishing you had someone else’s life is a minute spent wasting yours. You don’t have to be everything you want to be, but remind yourself that you are more than whom you were.

Comparing yourself to anyone is like a disease. It is like cancer that goes on destroying your very soul. It is a thief of joy and a no-win game. It is unhelpful, and it will bring you discontent and if after reading this letter and don’t change, it will kill you slowly.

Until tomorrow, always remember that life gets better when you start doing your own thing. Life gets better when you stop comparing yourself to others. Life gets better when you can look ahead of you, not behind, and not to the side. Life gets better when you pay no attention to the strangers around you until you can look at them and feel peace in your heart that you are doing just fine and so are they.

Be a true friend to yourself and realize that life gets better once you start paying attention to yourself, your own happiness and to your own comfort. Life gets better when you speak words of kindness, and enjoy what you have. Life gets better when you stop measuring your own happiness by what others have or do not. Life gets better when you challenge yourself in your work, in your art, and in your way of treating others.

This is your life, it gets better when you realize that your journey is unique, and no one will ever travel in your shoes. Life gets better when you stop looking at where others are in their journey. Life gets better when you stop comparing your chapters to that of others. Life gets better when you come to terms that you are on your own path and are exactly where you need to be. Life gets better when you accept everything you are and aren’t. Life gets better when you realize that you alone are enough and have nothing to prove to anyone.

Don’t push yourself for not looking like the fake version of someone. Don’t be caught between trying to live your life, and trying to run from it because of what you see in others. Just because you see someone looking a certain way doesn’t mean it’ll be how you look if you train and eat exactly like them. Find your own way and stop comparing yourself to others, it will bring you improvement. If however being competitive help or motivates you, then focus on others, if not, avoid this. It will only kill your confidence, motivation and give you depression.

I hope you take a moment to be kind to yourself after reading this letter and believe that happiness comes from your own accomplishments, not from wishing you had someone else’s.

Be encouraged!

In Him,
Ali Papa.


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6 thoughts on “Trust Your Journey, Even When You Do Not Understand It

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