Comparison – A Brutal Attack or An Opportunity For Gratitude?

About a year ago I joined Pinterest because I loved the idea of collecting and sharing positive affirmations, beautiful thoughts, joyful words and inspirational pictures. Who would’t want more of that? I found that this particular pin received quite a bit of response.

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CAMERON DIAZ PHOTO: JULIAN MACKLER/BFA NYC; ILLUSTRATED BY SYDNEY HASS.

“When you’re comparing yourself to someone else, you’re saying that what you have isn’t good enough. That’s such negative energy”. – Cameron Diaz [1]

Ms. Diaz’s words resonated with a lot of people who have lived and learned the truth of this statement and it made me think a little bit deeper on the subject of comparison.

FINDING YOUR ‘STAR’ QUALITIES!

We were created to shine! So why compare yourself to others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.

I am grateful for diversity, for unique people with distinct, different and wonderful gifts and talents. I am rejoicing in God’s creativity!

Gratitude will take you in the right direction.

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“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer

Comparison and Others

Society makes it somewhat natural to gauge success on the success of others. That isn’t necessarily so bad when it’s used the right way. That’s why we have mentors and teachers. They can provide positive aspirations and valuable guidance. But for the most part, comparison can lead you in a dangerous direction and damage your spirit. Jesus’ warned his follower’s to be careful. [2]

There can be some good found in comparison if, it is used to build people up, it inspires us to do good, and helps us move toward developing our own fullest potential.

“Success bases our worth on a comparison with others. Excellence gauges our value by measuring us against our own potential.” [3]

Comparison and Self

Each individual is important. We can get all wrapped up in the notion of self importance or move our focus to a bigger picture. Everything we do for the world or for another person, no matter how big or how small, has infinite consequences. We all have our limitations and imperfections but we also have everything we need to shine our light in this world because God is the One who has the last word. When my faith comes into the picture, the paradigm shifts.

God is God – We Are Not 

I know God desires my best. But he desires my love even more. I am not the sum of my abilities but the sum of God’s love and God’s word. My life is better when I align it with God’s word and seek Him first.

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Alberici Sisters: Linda Eichberg and Maria Lauren – Sharing Hatha Yoga at Crystal Cove

I am a daughter of the most high. I am GRATEFUL for the supremacy of Jesus Christ. I am CONFIDENT that he will line up my life to God’s wonderful plan for the world. I am JOYFUL that this will improve my life and the lives of those around me. I am BRANDED with Christ’s love and righteousness.

When I live out my faith and walk rightly with my Father, God, I shine by reflecting His light. He is the source of all light. My relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is like hidden treasure being newly discovered each day, its supernatural and beyond comparison. 

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else. – Galatians 6:4

Our Lives Should Shine!

Anyone can be a ‘star’ in God’s Kingdom. God’s Son, Jesus, says to follow him and he will show us how. Trust in his provision and love.

I have to say, trust is not always easy. There have been times when I was afraid to give Jesus something that seemed precious to me. But when I have, I’ve always received something more precious, peace, health and freedom in him.

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Don’t let this dark world destroy your beautiful glow. Whatever you do in Jesus’ name, own it, and sparkle beyond compare.

May the kingdom of God’s love, rule and radiate in our hearts. Blessings, Linda Eichberg

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14 

Refrences:

1) The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body – http://www.refinery29.com/2014/02/61667/cameron-diaz-interview#slide

2) John 21:20-22 (NIV)

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Link to full chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+21&version=NIV

3) Jon Johnson in “Christian Excellence: Alternative To Success” http://www.amazon.com/Christian-excellence-Alternative-Jon-Johnston/dp/0964501449

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog sharing my personal opinions. For medical and spiritual advice, seek guidance from a professional. Copyright, all rights reserved.

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European Adventure Part 1 – Czech Republic

This summer I had the opportunity of a lifetime to vacation in Europe with family and friends. We visited many amazing sites, but overall, I was most enthralled by the beauty of the architecture. In the U. S., it is very rare to see this wide array of Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance, Neo-Classical and Art Deco buildings that mark Europe’s ancient historical roots.

CZECH REPUBLIC

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View of the Vltava river, driving into Prague.

 

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Baroque beauty, St. Nicholas (Old Town)

PRAGUE – Old Town

Our tour started in Prague. We had three and a half, wonderful days in that city. Discovering the secrets of Old Town filled up most of those days.

The first day, some of us spent time in the Jewish Quarter. The tour of the Jewish Museum and the Old Jewish Cemetery, from the 15th century was fascinating.

 

 

 

Town Square 

We made several trips to the Town Square. The square was alive with tourists, street performers and food vendors. It had a wonderful vibe! The Gothic, Church of Our Lady was a remarkable site. We discovered many interesting side streets with buildings that were works of art.

 

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Church of Our Lady

 

Prague Castle

Loved this excursion. The Prague Castle complex rests above the city with great views of Prague.

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Entering the Prague Castle complex

 

One of the dominant building within the complex is Saint Vitus Cathedral. The stunning Gothic exterior of St. Vitus is equaled by it’s stately interior.

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Inside Saint Vitus Cathedral

A touring choir from the U. S. was singing the day we visited. Our group was blessed to hear the harmonies of their worship music echoing throughout the cathedral, as we took in it’s majesty.

Terezin – Theresienstadt Concentration Camp

Our trip to Terezin concentration camp was a very sobering experience. After Germany invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia, on June 10, 1940, the Gestapo took control of Terezín and set up a prison in the “Small Fortress.” At first, the prisoners were predominantly Czech, anti-Fascist resistance fighters, partisans and guerrilla fighters who were captured during the war.

Eventually, it was established by the SS as a concentration camp. The world was told, Terezin was a city built to protect the Jews. A propaganda film was made to show this myth. It was staged to show the Jews gardening and enjoying sports and entertainment. This ruse worked for a very long time.

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Nearly two hundred thousand men, women and children passed through the gates of Terezin as a way station to the east and probable death. Of the vast majority of Czech Jews who were taken to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, 97,297 died among whom were 15,000 children.

Terezin could not compare to the horrors at Auschwitz-Birkenau or Treblinka but starvation and disease were rampant. Terezin-sleep-pallet-by-Linda-EichbergAt the height of World War II, this Ghetto/Concentration Camp held over 55,000 Jews. Thousands died of malnutrition and exposure. Their bodies were cremated at the small crematorium with its four gas ovens. People from other nationalities and religions were also imprisoned and died there. That is why the cemetery displays both the Jewish Star and the Christian Cross.

 

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Melník Chateau Melnik-Castle

Not far from Prague City, there is the small town of Melník with a lovely Renaissance castle.

After 1989 it became the property of the noble Lobkowicz family and most of halls have been refurbished.

I admired ornate furniture and large collections of paintings but the picturesque view of the countryside from the chateau (or castle) was a highlight for me.

 

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After the tour of the residence, there was a tasting of the local wines in the cellar. I wasn’t crazy about their wines but there was one white variety that my husband, Steve, and I liked.

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During the bus ride on the way home, our guide entertained us with stories of the latest Czech government scandals and played us orchestral music by famous Czech composers like Janacek, and Dvorak. She was a delight and so was the music. The Czech people are very friendly, and for the most part, fluent in English.

 

Prague Restaurants

Dinner on the first night of our Prague adventure was at a marvelous restaurant near the entrance of Old Town called the Imperial Café. The meals were moderately priced and five out of six dinners were great. The restaurant is a must see, for it’s elaborate Art Deco style interior.

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The Imperial Cafe’s unique Art Deco mosaic columns punctuate the background of this photo.

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The traveling six: Peter, Alison, Debbie, Joey, Linda and Steven at the Imperial Cafe in Prague

 

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St. Nicholas in Lesser Town

The second night we dined at Coda in the Aria Hotel. The food and the rooftop views were spectacular.  We had a few minutes before dinner so we decided to explore a few blocks in the Lesser Town (Mala Strada) area.

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During our walk, we came across this John Lennon Wall. Most of the wall was graffiti but still pretty cool.

Our last dinner in Prague was also a winner. Kampa Park restaurant was first class in taste and ambiance. Ask for a river front table. We dinned on the Vltava river next to the Saint Charles bridge.

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The Saint Charles Bridge on the Vltava

 

As the evening progressed, the skies quickly darkened and nature added a little excitement with a thunder storm! (For us, who live in Southern California, it was a rare treat!)

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View from Kampa Park Restaurant

 

After the storm, seemingly out of nowhere dozens of white swans appeared and paraded across the river. It was God’s grand finale to our stay in Prague.

 

Part two of our European adventure picks up in Germany. Click on the link and enjoy the adventure!

European Adventure Part 2 – Germany and Cesky Krumlov

European Adventure Part 3 – Austria

European Adventure Part 4 – Hungary

 

With gratitude, Linda Eichberg

 

“What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me”? – Psalm 116:12

 

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