Someone sent me a newsletter for her new website: it was beautifully done, and very colourful and professional. My first thought was: 'Wow! This looks so impressive!'
My second thought was: 'Man, I could never do something this good…'
My third thought was: 'What the heck am I saying??!?!?'
Because instead of appreciating the time and effort that had gone into my correspondant's beautiful site, my yetzer instead had me wasting time and effort on tearing myself down.
I had to work for a good half an hour to stop feeling like a complete loser again, and to focus on what G-d (and Rav Arush…) want me to focus on, namely, gratitude.
Whenever I get sucked into 'competing', I can't be grateful for the beautiful light others are shining into the world.
The 'plus' that G-d sends my way turns into a 'minus', and instead of feeling happy that there are such amazing things going on around me, I start fretting that someone else's light is somehow detracting from my own.
But it's baloney!!
Once I worked all that out, I decided I needed to call the person in question, and tell her how great her site looked. I needed to appreciate her time and effort, and get my own insecurities out the way. So I did.
I'm currently re-learning, for the millionth time, that it's not a competition. There is enough success / attention / kudos / appreciation / light available for everyone, and instead of worrying that I'm not 'good enough', I just need to appreciate all the good out there, and to trust that G-d will help me to shine my own light in whatever way it needs to happen, whenever it needs to happen.