When I was a child, my father instilled two major lessons in my siblings and I:
1.) Always try to do the right thing (which included getting good grades, doing our chores, and NEVER EVER walking around the house barefoot),
2.) To remember to always “put the shoe on the foot” when faced with almost any life problem.
The platitude of considering other’s perspectives became an attribute so steeped within me that it almost became an otherworldly gift I possessed. With time, my father’s directive to always see myself in other people, felt like equal parts quest and calling. So in the 3rd grade, when I became friends with a girl who would become my best friend for many years, I tried hard to understand why our lives looked so differently.
Technically, I didn’t do anything but be born and I wasn’t even as good of a student as her, so trying to wrap my mind around why her family had to struggle financially and mine did not never made sense in my young mind. As a result, the idea was born that nothing I received in life could be solely attributed to my own effort. In fact, as I became older, it was easier to speculate that divine luck was on my side rather than to believe that I deserved anything over anyone else.
It wasn’t until recently (and by recently I mean last week) that I realized that the problem with always believing that I was no better than anyone else was that I couldn’t depart from that narrative over the years that it felt like my life suddenly began to go apesh*t. (Sorry mom.)
During the many years where it felt like nothing was working for me remained the thinking that my difficulties and challenges were happening because I truly was no better than anyone else. My way of understanding myself in relation to others had become cancerous.
For a time longer than I would like to admit, disappointment began to make a certain sense. Of course things would happen to them and not me, I would unconsciously believe.
Because: Me = Unworthy and underserving
My poor understanding of God and humility almost sent me to the pity party of no return.
Even though I am far from my roughest days, it wasn’t until recently that I came to understand how and why my well-intentioned thinking had led me so off track. By only believing that I wasn’t worthy of the good things in my life, I subjugated God to the role of an arbitrary hoarder and unreasonable warden of good will and blessings. By failing to also understand that I am also no less worthy of any good thing, I made it more difficult to trust God to be who he is, the bearer and boundless receptacle of all good things, who gives willingly in his perfect and ordained time.
So while I still believe that I am no better than anyone, I certainly more clearly understand that I am no less than anyone else either. And as long as I am no less than than anyone else, that means that I am JUST as worthy as anyone else and afforded the same possibility (and probability) of seeing miracles happen in my life, getting free Starbucks on any given day, or being discovered by Shonda Rhimes as anyone else.