This little story is all about me. Except it shouldn’t be. And that’s the point.
I have a very kind doctor. He is sympathetic to life in the real world. He doesn’t scold. He speaks of the benefits of a healthy life without peering over his glasses, eyebrows raised. You know that look.
But I’m painfully aware that I’m a fluffy girl.
And that’s not the point either. The point is that every single time I walk into a room, I look around and say, “Yes, but at least I’m not as fluffy as her.” I find the one person in the room that makes me look and feel the tiniest bit better (um, thinner). And I smirk a little.
Or… “Oh, my gosh, I wish I made that appointment to get a trim… I look like a ragamuffin… People must think… But, hold on… Look at her. Now she really needs a new hairstyle. Whew.” Smirk.
Why do I play that game? The “At Least I’m Not As…” Game.
Here’s how it’s played. I roll the dice and find my square on the game board. The board that has been custom made to my unique set of failings, anxieties, and self-loathing specifications. Each square on the board represents an Element of Comparison … weight, attendance record, formal evaluation score, house-cleaning skills, house-cleaning frequency, time reading or studying the Word…all the things that I beat myself up about. So, I find my square. Then, I must find at least One Poor Soul who is not as successful or far along or accomplished in that area as I am. Just One. Two Poor Souls? Bonus! I get to roll again. If I find none, I must return to Go, and I do not collect $200… or have any fun.
Sometimes, when I’m the best version of me, the game is forgotten…left in the box. I just go and have fun. Fancy that!
But most of the time, even when I try to put it away, it shows up at the party and does a bang-up job of keeping me from enjoying my friends and family. It’s a pop-up game. No assembly required.
It’s also a one-player game, so no one can stand over my shoulder and argue with me about which square I should or did land on. And, I’d bet long money that many party guests are completely oblivious to this competition because they have their own game going on at the same time. Maybe I’m that One Poor Soul who gets them another roll of the dice. Maybe they have to return to Go. And I don’t even know it because I’m just so ding-dang busy finding my One.
I just shouldn’t do that. Not because it drives Tim crazy. (He doesn’t really know the game has a name, but he can tell when I’m losing.) Not because I need to be more confident, or have better body image. Not even because I’m missing out on a great time.
I want to leave the game behind because all the other game players need me. And each other. We should spend more time at the party loving on people, no matter their size or dusting ability. You see, it doesn’t matter if they think that I’m fluffy or that I didn’t spend enough time with Jesus this morning. Honestly, that’s between them and them.
What matters is that everybody is somebody. And I want to do my very level best to make sure all the somebodies know that they matter.