I'm sure you've heard that Eleanor Roosevelt quote, right? I'd say it's her most famous one. I used to dislike when people quoted it because I felt like they were justifying being hurtful and turning these words on the victim. I've since reclaimed what she's written to mean what I think it really means: that we can control our own reactions and actions only. If we are in a situation that is making us feel bad we can leave, or we can make changes. That's what I take it to be, nothing more.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt
When I started blogging I read a ton of blogs... each time I found one I liked I added it to my google reader. Mostly they were blogs of women older then myself, people I admired or people I was some what curious about. I know many articles have pointed out how reading blogs can be challenging because people only share a portion of what is going on, but the reader [me] believes they are seeing it at face value. Like a lot of type-A, self-starters I like to compare. I compare as part of my job [which image is better?] and as part of my personal life [is this a good use of my time or no?] and yes, I would sometimes find myself comparing my life to those I was reading. I was doing something inappropriate: comparing my beginning with someone else's middle. It became a bad habit.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb. -Psalm 139: 13
My faith teaches me that every person is made in the image of God and that we all posses specific gifts and talents. God gives us blessings at different times and calls us to use them in different ways. I once told my friend Ashley that we can't have it all: we can't be a stay-at-home-mom at the same time we are climbing the corporate ladder and we can't live a fun single life and also be happily married. I believe we can have and achieve most of our life goals, we just can't do it at the exact same moment. I still believe the enemy's biggest trap is to make us question our worth, but how often are we assisting him in that?
What I realized was that I was allowing myself to feel inferior by consenting to reading a handful of blogs. In addition I would sometimes feel covetous and ungrateful to God. So I decided to edit my google reader subscriptions.
In November I went through everything and simply kept the blogs of people I knew in real life, other photographers who inspired me, or blogs where I felt like the writer was being authentic. In reality I only erased a portion of blogs, blogs I hardly commented on.
It's strange how we have the power to change, but sometimes feel like we can't. There was no way I wanted to give my consent to make myself feel bad, it wasn't the authors it was me.
Throughout this process I've found some great, new blogs that I love reading and I still keep up with my old favorites. I don't miss the ones I've let go. After I thought about it, the biggest common denominator between the blogs I erased were that I couldn't relate to the author. So naturally I found myself frustrated with their world view or opinions.
All in all, I think this entire process made me much more self aware. I have the power to control my actions or reactions and even erasing a few blogs on google reader showed me that.