People generally live on one of two planes of existence: the competitive world or the creative world.
It’s easy to tell.
People who live in the competitive world think that there isn’t enough for them. This is because, of course, if you are competing, there’s only room for one at the top—of whatever. Book sales, retweets, liked photos, net worth, grade point average. It doesn’t matter what the goal is. If you’re in the competitive world, you are always striving to get to that goal or fighting to stay there once you arrive.
Numbers matter in the competitive world, because they are objective things that you can count and compare: followers on social media, sales, rankings, prizes won in the County fair for best tomato.
Personally speaking, when I visit the competitive world, I get sad. I start thinking I am less than (I’m not one of those who thinks I’m better than), and I easily find someone richer, thinner, happier, more popular, who sells more books and has a really clean house to compare myself and shame myself.
Nothing I do is ever enough in the competitive plane. Someone is always taller, has longer legs and longer hair and more money in their bank account.
I get jealous.
I’ve learned, however, to listen to my jealousy because it usually tells me my heart’s desire.
My heart usually desires to feel like what I do is enough, just the way I am. That my body is enough as it is. That I am enough as I am. That I can be financially sober. That I can have true inner security.
That I am loved.
Thing is? I can’t find those things on the competitive plane. It’s not set up that way. It’s set up so that only one is at the top, some are fighting to get to the top, and the rest have given up and don’t even bother.
But there is another way.
For my sanity and happiness, I must exist on the creative plane.
By “creative,” I don’t mean all glitter and glue sticks. (Okay, that stuff is fine too). But I mean that I create my own world. Make things the way I want them to be. The way that makes me feel like I am loved, safe, secure, and enough as I am.
I do this by paying very close attention to what I surround myself with in my physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional environments. It matters what I carry in my purse, the kind of pen I use to write, the kind of words I use to talk with people. What I eat, what I breathe, who I love. What I think about, read, see on my phone.
I do my best to live my days the way I want to live my life.
My Facebook group. I usually warn people that it’s super active and full of half-naked men, some of whom are members. But I see it as a fabulous place where women can be our badass selves without feeling shamed for liking what we like, owning our sexuality, or talking about our mental health challenges. It exists on the creative plane. I care more about getting the right people in there than the number of people. It's not in competition with anyone.
This creative world I’m in? It’s not fully formed. Many parts of it are in the first trimester of gestation. Just a gleam in my eye. I can’t see the immediate manifestations of what I want in my day-to-day life yet.
But I can tell you this.
I wanted to live in a Craftsman house. I do.
I wanted to be a mother. I am now a mother.
I wanted to be a writer for my entire life. I am now a writer.
I still have things to change. Things I want to do. But I love existing on the creative plane and seeing my dreams happen.
Now, when I say that I live in my own little world. I’ll admit that I do have to be vigilant about being positive and focusing on what I want, not what I don’t want. That can sound a little Pollyanna. Honestly, though, I really don’t care what it sounds like, because it makes me happy. I’m not depressed by the news; I barely read it. I’m optimistic about the planet. I believe that we are making great strides to make the world a better place. And no, I’m not delusional. I’m not talking about being naïve or not preparing for the winter, so to speak. Yes, we need to brush our teeth, recycle, fasten seatbelts, and set aside money for the future. I’m just choosing to move forward with the vision of the future that I want for myself and my children, not hampered by those who predict dire events.
Because there have always been those who are stuck in gloom and doom. For every example I can find of something positive, I’m sure someone could find something negative. That’s the way the world is. You have to find the things you want and focus on them. That’s the way you create your world too.
Another thing. This creative world? It’s egalitarian. I am not better than you, and you are not better than me. We all have opportunities to create our own worlds. We all create our own world, whether we think we are doing it or not.
I acknowledge that there are those who have challenges to get to the point where they can believe that they can create their own world. That because of socio-economic considerations or their parents or where they live, they need some help.
Hence, why I wrote this.
To let you know that you can do it because I did it and am doing it. Those dreams you have? That place you want to live in? Job you want? Relationship?
There’s nothing stopping you from getting it.
I bet you can think of an example of someone from humble beginnings who has become a superstar. Oprah, anyone? And these superstars did it by creating themselves, not competing.
It took me a long time to figure this out. That I didn’t need to compare myself to anyone but an older version of myself, and whether I was going closer or farther away from my heart’s desires.
But ever since I said the big eff-you to the competitive world, I haven’t looked back.