We’ve all done it.  Wondered why someone seemed to have it all while we struggled.  Questioned why jerks seem to be rewarded while good God-conscious people bear inequitable burdens.  We’ve been envious, jealous, and downright ornery about the good fortunes of people we deem to be less deserving than ourselves.  In short, we have engaged in the comparison game.  We have forgotten that, with life, there is no comparison.

There is no comparison because life isn’t about what we perceive someone  else has that is lacking in our life.  Life isn’t about accumulation of wealth or material goods.  Our perceptions of  the “good fortunes” of others are really only that – perceptions.  Perceptions that are based merely on outward appearances of accumulation of wealth and material goods .  Perceptions that are based on what others want us to see but mask the inner turmoils that we all carry.

There is no comparison because it is destructive.  Either we become angry or envious because of a perceived inequity or, conversely, compare ourselves to others as a way to prop ourselves up to look down at others.  In the process, we have forgotten that our worth is not to be determined by someone else’s yardstick. We determine our worth.

There is no comparison because this is your journey.  It is your life.  You choose the roads, the means of transportation, and the destination. Let go of the negative emotions which keep you from fully experiencing the wonder that is life. Stop comparing and start living.

Lately, I have been contemplating how God manifests Himself in our lives.  For me, it is an incredibly personal relationship which provides me solace.  I sense His answers to my prayers in the quiet moments.  I feel His love during prayers, in the changing colors of the season, and in the awakening of the sun.

However, for others, God does not present in the same way.  Prayers are perceived to be unheard.  Questions as to the meaning of existence seem to be unanswered.  To some, God is perceived to be distant and unapproachable – someone who does not involve Himself in day to day trivial matters important to the believer.

Why is this so?  Why does God seem as close to some as the jugular vein and distant and unconcerned for others?  Is God neither or both?

For me, the answer seemed to be in one verse.  God tells us that He ” will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”  Is then the answer in ourselves?  Does God then manifest Himself in our lives in the manner we see him?  For me, God is most merciful, generous, and loving.  God, in turn, has blessed me with answers to prayers, said and unsaid.  I feel His love everywhere – in the wondrous beauty of nature, in the smiles of children, and in the laughter of others.  God manifests Himself in my life in the way that I perceive him.

However, to those that find God distant, unapproachable and seemingly unconcerned with day to day matters, maybe the answer to a better relationship with God lies in changing our condition.  If we hold anger with God because of perceived slights or omissions, it is hard for us to, in the same space,  recognize the blessings God placed  in our lives let alone to express gratitude.  However, if we come to God believing in and thanking him for his mercy and generosity, maybe – just maybe God will manifest himself in our lives as kind, generous, responsive, and merciful .  When we do so, when we change our condition and operate from a  default position of gratitude, we allow God’s blessings to reach us.

Being grateful isn’t easy.  It takes conscious reflection of the every day ordinary blessings we so often take for granted. It requires a retraining of how we look at God, the world, and ourselves.  It calls for us to focus on solutions instead of being mired in the muck of our problems and negativity.  It demands a change in our mindset.  However, when we consciously look for those ordinary blessings, a magical thing happens.  The blinders come of, our vision is high definition, and we see other ways in which God’s blessings are manifested in our lives.  The blessings of gratitude then perpetuate itself in our lives in unimaginable ways.

But how do we do this? For me, I know I need to be better at expressing my sincere thanks in a meaningful way to people in my life who have been there for me.  While I am pretty good at expressing thanks for little things, I have never been good at thank you notes let alone remembering important dates.    I know I need to be better. We all can be better.  We all have people in our lives who we need to recognize and thank.  We all have taken our friends’ support for granted from time to time. How we do this is as individual as we are.  However, when we do, we open ourselves up to God’s grace, love, and mercy.  Isn’t that what we all want?



I have been thinking a lot lately about the things we voluntarily carry – anger in particular.  It’s not that I’m carrying it.  In fact, I am in a particularly peaceful place.  It wasn’t always this way though.  After my marriage,  I had a lot of anger toward my ex.  Anger that he couldn’t be straight with me.  Anger that I was deceived.  Anger that he had moved on with a new wife and baby in tow.   However, while I may have outwardly expressed this anger towards him, deep down, I was really angry with myself and the choices I made which included marrying a  man when my gut told me not to.

This led to one inevitable conclusion.  I needed to forgive.  I could no longer hold onto my anger like a warm blanket when all it did was leave my cold. I needed to forgive my ex but, most importantly, myself.  You see, my divorce left me feeling like I was never enough.  I blamed myself for the relationship’s inevitable demise and wrongly attributed it to some fatal flaw in my psyche which would prevent me from ever finding true love.  However, the truth is that I always was enough.  We just were never meant to be together.  Accepting that brought forgiveness and peace.

However, I haven’t forgotten.  It isn’t that I am holding things against myself or others.  Rather, I need to remember the valuable lessons I learned about myself, trusting my intuition, and knowing my self worth.  Lessons that I find useful in helping someone I love who still voluntarily carries the unnecessary burden of anger.

Sadly, he is not the only one.  I think everyone at some point in their lives do.  I did.   However, holding onto that anger is destructive.  Anger keeps people away.  It prevents you from experiencing true joy in your life.  It hardens the soul and sacrifices empathy. Most importantly, it keeps you from moving on.

I know it isn’t easy to let it go.  Forgiveness is hard.  It requires us to let go of all the hurt and pain someone caused.  Maybe that person doesn’t deserve forgiveness.  But this isn’t about him or even for him. The other person long ago moved on while you carry the heavy baggage of anger.  Forgiveness is for you.  It is an entirely selfish act. It allows you to accept your human frailties, acknowledge your wonderful strengths, and move on.  Put down the baggage.  Forgive.  Love yourself and let it go.  You were always enough.