“I’m at point A. You’re at point Z.”

I’m sick. Apparently my laryngitis spread to my eyes, because my eyes are beet red. I had plans to go over to a friend’s house tonight, but just texted my friends a picture of my eyes (which I’m sure grossed them out), and informed them that I wouldn’t be making it, since I don’t want to infect them with whatever stupid laryngitis-red eye-disease I have.

And when I’m sick, I have to slow down. I don’t like slowing down, because I generally don’t like sitting still. When I’m forced to sit still, I start getting into a reflective state, and sometimes it’s hard to stop the “should train” in my mind. That’s the train of thoughts that tells me all the stuff I should be doing that I’m currently not doing. It’s also the train of thoughts that says, “Look at those people over there who are doing X, Y, and Z, but you’re over here still on A, B, and C. What’s wrong with you?”

When Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” he knew what he was talking about. Whenever I start comparing my day to someone else’s or my life to someone else’s, it is the ULTIMATE slippery slope.

It’s crazy to think about the fact that there are so many life experiences which encourage us to compare ourselves in this way. An example of this was when my elementary school teachers would choose two students to be team captains and then ask those team captains to “choose” their teams.
If the captains were choosing teammates to compete in a spelling competition, I was proud to be one of the first chosen. If we were in gym class, I was screwed.

I remember standing there as teams were being picked and making a million promises to God in my head through silent prayer that I would never again let Him down if he would just answer this prayer request to not be chosen in the bottom 50 percent.

These moments were anxiety producing, obviously. Even when I was “team captain,” I was anxious about being put in the position to evaluate my peers in such a public way.

Because truth be told, I have often struggled with self esteem and self worth.

Over the years, I would say that most of the mistakes I have made were related to self worth on some level. I have chosen to not stand up for myself when I really needed to. I have chosen to be in relationships with men who were not very nice to me. I have chosen to not exercise and eat well because I didn’t think I deserved to have the health or body I wanted. I have allowed toxic people into my life, because I didn’t think I deserved to be happy. It was almost like masochism was my friend. I made bad choices because I didn’t think I deserved to have goodness in my life.

I’m thankful that I’ve broken these patterns in my decision making. The way I actually did this was that I started to trust my emotions more. I realized that my feelings had value and usually meant something. I also worked on trusting my gut and my internal guidance system. I began to think about all the things that were right with me, instead of what was wrong with me. I began to choose positive thoughts over negative ones.

But the most important action I took was that I began to figure out WHO I was. Because when I started to know my identity in a distinct way, I gradually stopped relying on other situations or people to fill in the gaps. And that is by FAR the hardest part. It is a challenge, as it was today, to remind myself that I know who I am and what I want–and that I don’t have to compare myself to others because of the simple fact that they are not me.

For example, I’m sure that many of you do not like split pea soup. However, I REALLY do. Which may make me weird, but if you’re weird like me, then you will love this recipe.

Spicy Split Pea Soup
Adapted from More-With-Less Cookbook

5 c. chicken broth
5 c. water
1 lb dried split peas
2 T. butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 T. curry powder
3/4 t. ground coriander (freshly ground if possible, from ~1 t. seeds)
1/2 t. cayenne
1 t. salt
1/2 c. cream

Combine chicken broth, water, and split peas in a large soup pot. Bring to a rolling boil, turn off heat, cover, and let stand for (at least) 1 hour. Reheat, and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, curry, ground coriander, cayenne, and salt, and saute for about 7-8 minutes, until fragrant.

Once split peas are tender, stir onion mixture into split peas, cover, and cook for 20 minutes over low heat. Use an immersion blender to lightly puree the soup in the pot, or use a blender to liquefy approximately half of the soup before returning it to the pot.

Stir cream into soup, and reheat to serving temperature. If too thick, thin with a small amount of water or cream.

I like to put sour cream on mine.

And this person right here is another daily motivation for me to work on getting the self worth piece right. Because when you’re someone else’s female prototype, that’s kind of a big deal.

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