I’ve been ruminating on a phrase lately that’s proven helpful and calming. “Stay in your own lane.” Simple, elegant, and power packed with meaning.
It is no secret that comparison is a killer. The moment you start comparing yourself, your career, your family, your (fill in the blank), with someone else you are sunk, psychologically speaking. This is because comparison is not truthful, and therefore it brings us into the darkness. The light however, is full of freedom and joy and sharing and enjoyment – of what we have/be/do AND what others have/be/do. And since most of us have a hard time telling ourselves truthful things all the time, we always can use a few catchy, fun axioms to helps us along the way. Like . . . stay in your own lane.
There are 3 things I think are true about this analogy:
- Everyone has a lane.
- Everyone’s lane is full of treasures, bumps, lovely people, inspiration and surprises.
- Everyone has the ability to focus, re-focus, and reorient themselves back into their own lane.
Let me expound, dahlinks.
Everyone has a lane. It’s rather obvious, correct? We are all different, living in different bodies, born unto different circumstances. So, that automatically makes you an individual traveling a path that only you can travel. You are born alone, and you will die alone. These are self-evident facts. They can either freak you out, or give you some relief. (I’ll go with relief.) If at this point you are begrudging your lane, you are comparing yourself to someone else or an idea you have about how life “should” be. Stop it. Your lane is wonderful, and you have a perspective that NO ONE will ever have again. It’s valuable, but it will only become valuable when you say it is. If you belittle your lane in any shape or form, even under your breath, you are thumbing your nose at the universe. And you are totally free to do that, don’t get me wrong. It will just take you longer to see the inherent beauty all around you. You have a lane, and it is good.
Everyone’s lane is full of treasures, etc. I’m not here to sugar coat the situation and make it seem like life on earth doesn’t have challenges. Oh my sweet-soul-lover-of-life, yes it does! BUT, and this is a very big but (haha), it contains stuff that you will miss if you don’t keep your eyes on the road and press the gas. Go, dog, go. One of my favorite parts of “stay in your own lane,” is that it asks you to keep moving. You could stand in your lane and watch all the other vehicles speed by, or you could watch your rearview, but staying in your lane implies focusing and going forward. I like this! It reminds me that all else aside, my lane exists and it has something potentially miraculous up ahead. It also helps me appreciate and love the lanes around me. Heck, if I remember that my lane is full of possibilities, I can be MORE inspired by the people around me who are traveling similar or parallel lanes. Oh, and before I forget, everyone has access to comparable levels of joy and happiness in their lane. Joy is not dependent on how your lane looks. (Remember the grass is greener thing? If someone else’s grass is greener, go water yours.)
Everyone can re-focus themselves on their own lane. We are not going to get this psychological game right all the time. You are going to compare yourself to someone else, even as soon as this afternoon. Ok, whatever, that’s not the problem. The problem is forgetting you can ALWAYS refocus yourself back into your own brand of inspiration – back into your own lane. Even the refocus is not always going to be easy, and that’s okay too. The fact will remain that if you want to come back to the truth, and do whatever orients you back into your lane, you can. I have faith in you and along with many, many other people will cheer you on from our respective lanes.
The reason for writing this blog is because of the heartbreak I feel when I see a beautiful, talented, literally blessed artist or singer feel “bad” for not . . . . getting that break, getting that role, getting whatever, etc. I get it, I really do. To be vulnerable with you – I have spent an inordinate amount of time throughout life wanting what someone else had. But, because of some really difficult wake up calls, I finally realized how rich my lane is. God, its breathtaking, really. And so is yours, I promise.