My Dearest MacKynzie,
In some past letters I've mentioned that I swim for exercise. Swimming is extremely boring but there are many life lessons that come to surface while swimming countless laps in the quiet of my own mind.
I haven’t been swimming for long but I try and go a couple of times a week. The other day I was feeling particularly good, like it was time to try out for the olympics. I decided to test my speed against someone swimming next to me. I didn’t want to make it obvious that we were racing so I got into a slow smooth rhythm and was going to kick it into gear when she caught up. We made a turn at the wall and there she was... game on! I kicked and paddled as fast as I could. I felt like a gazelle in the water, quickly gliding through the glassy lane. breathe kick kick. I was so busy focusing on my movements that I lost sight of the girl next to me. When I got to the wall I stood up and looked around, expecting the girl to be way behind eating my H2O. I about jumped out of my skin when I noticed she had already turned at the wall and was a third of the way to the other side!! My heart sunk and my hopes for the olympics quickly faded. My mind automatically went to failure. Why am I even doing this? The picture in my head went from gazelle to cat. Have you ever seen a cat try to swim? The lifeguards are probably laughing at me in their break room.
As I stood there wallowing in my failure to win a pretend race, I realized that the feeling is familiar. The feeling that no matter how hard I work, there is always someone on Facebook doing it better.... someone in our church with a family that is happier.. or that one friend that seems to have everything fall into place so effortlessly.
I stood there, quiet in thought. As I was about to jump out of the pool, I saw my secret nemesis came back around toward me and I suddenly realized.. she was swimming with flippers! No wonder why she smoked me! She had a major advantage in the race that was hidden in the chaos of the water behind her.
My loving advice to you. You see, this is what happens when you compare your life to those around you. From the surface it may look like you are running a similar race but if you look deeper, we are all working with different tools that God has given us. Some of us have been given flippers to help us work on our technique while others are given those things you put in-between your knees to build your arms. The only fair comparison in life is using the tools that God has given you to work on being the best version of yourself. The way we compare ourselves to each other is like asking a swimmer to race a runner. The swimmer could be the fastest swimmer in the world but they will lose every time. Don't put this pressure on yourself to be like anyone else. God created you with unique skills and abilities. He has given you different tools and experiences to mold you into something special. Wake up every morning and come dressed for life. Then kick and paddle as fast as you can with your eyes in your own lane, doing the best you can.
My love to you and my prayer for an amazing life! Live to inspire <3 to create!
The purpose of this letter is to inspire my daughter MacKynzie to live a prosperous, God loving, joyful, legacy building life. Who knows, it may help you too. Please ‘like’ if you found this letter useful and please ‘share’ if you want to help inspire others. You never know who is watching ;)