Thoughts on “looking bad”…

“We tend to see people based on how we feel about ourselves and our lives.” – Miranda Ireland

Sometimes I say things to people just to hear their opinions, knowing that I’m listening for what’s being said, for what’s not being said, and for what’s under what’s being said.  I listen and I’d contend that no one could truly make any of us look bad without our help through either action or inaction.

At some point, all of us have looked at the decisions of others and have judged them for it.  How could she be so dumb?  He doesn’t know what he’s doing!  What are they thinking?  Perhaps it’s more natural than we would like to admit that we get a charge out of being able to look down on others and their decisions in order to make ourselves feel more important…or wiser…or [whatever].

But it’s especially difficult when other’s choices highlight our own shortcomings.  It’s rough when we can look at people having the audacity to do things that we can’t/won’t bring ourselves to do.  Because at this point, it’s not about the small details (i.e. – every “i” wasn’t dotted and every “t” wasn’t crossed before they stepped out there), it’s very much about the fact that they were able to step out there in the first place.

I understand this feeling completely as a person who has always felt the need to have everything together before I do something.  Maybe it’s just my slight type-A/slight OCD/very analytical personality.  But if there is one thing that 2013 has taught me, it has taught me that you can’t cry about what you’re not doing when you are not willing to even step out there.  For whatever it is – work, school, relationships, finances, etc.  I can’t cry about being broke if I’m not doing anything to increase my wealth AND take steps to be more responsible with the money I do have.  I can’t cry about relationships if I continue to settle for being a convenient option.  I can’t cry about what God isn’t doing when I don’t know His promises because I don’t know His Word and I can’t even hold up my end of the bargain.

It’s bad enough that we’re always going to compare ourselves to others in general.  I wish that was something of which I could cure myself.  But it’s egregious to blame others for your fear…for your not being able to move past the past…for your lack of priorities…for your [whatever].  At some point, we have to be completely honest and own up to what we have allowed to hold us back in certain areas and the excuses we have coated it with (“I’m not ready.”  “I need to have this and that in order.”  “I’m not going to be out here looking foolish.”).

I am in no way advocating foolishly entering into situations with no wisdom, understanding, or foreknowledge.  BUT I am saying that for many things, if we never push ourselves to get past thiourselves, we will always be sitting back talking about how [people] are doing things, achieving things, getting things that are making [the rest of us] look bad.

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