I saw a meme on social media awhile back that said, “Wanna know what living in Georgia is like? Take a hot shower, don’t dry off, put on all your clothes.” Nashville’s 93-degree weather reminded me of this last weekend as the guts of our home climbed to less than ten degrees cooler (with 61% humidity for good measure #coolcoolcool).
After paying off our one-year old HVAC system at the beginning of August, my Dad sarcastically joked that its end was near. Turns out it was an electrical issue, but because THREE DAYS of indoor/outdoor summer temps had transpired, I was in no mood to care.
Those who know my mom can imagine how well I might’ve channeled her extra Southern Charm when calling the repair people to kindly remind them of this time-frame. “You win more flies with honey than vinegar,” she always says.
Southern or not, I hit a boiling point on Monday. Per my modus operandi, I resisted tears and checked out of work to start scrolling. You know that feeling, right? Facebook, Instagram, whatever it takes to waste time and help you ignore what’s actually happening in front of you. But, oh social media. There’s always something jumping out and making me feel the weight of comparison, the feelings of not being/doing enough.
In studying the Enneagram as a tool for personal and spiritual growth, experts suggest you remember the SNAP acronym: Stop, Notice, Ask, Pivot. When I was first introduced, someone asked which stage I might struggle with most as a 3. “That’s easy,” I said. “The first one, for sure: STOP.”
As much as I hate to admit it, I probably owe some gratitude to our personal heat wave; it did more than jack up my body temperature. It fired up my emotions, too.
“Often we get swept up in the rushing river of our daily activities and habitual reactive behaviors, but rarely do we step back to observe and learn from them… Not facing the reality of our darkness and its sources is a really, really bad idea.”
– Cron / Stabile, The Road Back to You Study Guide
When things feel so frustrating and out of control, I’ve learned I have no choice but to STOP, NOTICE, and ASK.
- What am I believing right now?
- How does it make me feel?
- Is it true?
- Who will I be if I let go of these beliefs?
These questions have helped me wrestle with my worth, with feelings of not enough, and helped me re-evaluate what I feel to be true in the moment vs. what I actually believe.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about social media, it’s how easy it is to believe the grass is always greener. If there are two things I’ve learned, it’s 1) the aforementioned above and 2) comparison is a lie. It’s impossible to see the journey or the behind-the-scenes hustle for the sparkly highlight reel. Nothing happens magically overnight.
And also, who cares?
Do you see me sheepishly raising my hand? Because if I’m totally honest, I care. Not intentionally. I don’t want to, but I can’t ignore it creeping up time and time again. My gut says, “Use these people as guideposts. You have to have some sort of benchmark! How will people see your success?”
As I wrap up this initial study of The Road Back to You, a friend of mine sent over a verse to encourage my 3 heart – Colossians 3:23.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man…”
I’ll repeat this till it sticks with me. Those “people” I want to see my success? Not. For. Them.
The last step in SNAP, of course, is PIVOT; doing an about face away from repeat behavior. Why do we compare in the first place? I’m remembering the story of Rachel + Leah and the subsequent lesson of rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn.
It is not about me isolated as a competitive silo, but ALL about us joined together in community, covering each other in love.