Who Needs Jelly When You Have Jam?

Who Needs Jelly When You have Jam - a show about self confidence

Are you tired of feeling like you’re never good enough? Let’s not beat around the bush here, keeping up with the Jones is exhausting not to mention, completely unfulfilling. Just when you feel like you’ve arrived, you find out that where you are is only halfway there. You are NEVER there! How can you relax and enjoy life when you always feel like you’re behind, trying to get somewhere; anywhere? Well, you can’t. And you can’t run fast enough to catch up with the Jones and if you did catch them you would find out they are trying to catch the Smiths and they aren’t happy either. Ready to celebrate now, dream about later, and plan for tomorrow?

I guess I should explain the title of this show. Who needs jelly when you have, jam? This started as a literal question and then inspired a more metaphorical idea. I was making a PBJ, yep it came to me that literally. I love jam but in the past, Matt has bought jelly. I’m not a fan. It’s too gelatinous and doesn’t spread at all. It’s weak and just leaves lumps all over your bread. I’ve recently discovered whipped peanut butter which could be a topic in and of itself but it would be a shame to plop some grape jelly on top of smooth peanutty goodness. Now jam, that’s my jam! It’s full of fruit, spreads like a dream, and is packed with flavor. So while constructing my sandwich, I said out loud, “who needs jelly when you have jam?” 

I’m serious. Was jam not delicious enough for the kings and queens that they requested a more subpar version? I did a little research, well let’s just say, a little more than I should have ever done. Jam dates back to the crusades and jelly, made from fruit juice, sugar, and gelatin came much later and was heavily consumed by the military during the war. 

At any rate, the metaphorical entry into this conundrum is this; why wasn’t jam good enough? Rich and pure, a sweet way to deliver fruit, why mess with a good thing? When will we be happy with who we are? When will we be able to say we are good enough just like we are without the pressure to reinvent? 

Self-acceptance is a tough but important subject and a critical part of our journey to self-discovery. When we talk about accepting ourselves just the way we are, we’re not talking about dismissing growth and evolution. We are talking about loving yourself today without the…..yeah but notion. Yeah, I love myself….but. 

You could choke on the sheer volume of inspirational memes flooding our social feeds telling us to Love thyself, #selflove, You are beautiful just the way you, keep calm and carry on. Don’t get me wrong, those are lovely sentiments, but do you believe them? What do you tell yourself when no one is listening? When you get up in the morning and are getting ready for the day, what internal dialogue is playing out in your head?

We can fake it with false personas showing the world we have it all together. Strong, confident, driven, and full of life but when we are alone, do we buy into something much different. 

We’ve all heard the term, fake it until you make it. But let’s push back; when do you make it? What constitutes, making it? Instead, you get so comfortable with faking it that you forget to make it. This just becomes another false persona. Underneath you are just as insecure as yesterday. 

Maybe the Jones are faking it and don’t even get me started about the Smiths! 

I spent the better part of my 20’s, 30’s, and even 40’s trying to get somewhere. I invested all my energy in to climbing the career ladder and raising children. When I look back to find me, the real me, in all of it, I’m hard to locate. Of course, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, and a healthy balance of family, work, and self-care at age 30 might be the unicorn of all requests. 

There is a good reason you don’t figure it all out until you are older. If you did you might have taken a much easier path.  The challenge was in figuring it all out. Now it’s time to shift your focus, unpack some of the pressure, and find the real you. Open the door and let yourself be exposed to new ideas, challenges, and freedom. 

Being happy with who you are is different than being content with where you are. I love to set goals and brainstorm creative new ideas. Do I have to have something to shoot for to…..be happy? Could I be content just being where I am today? 

Never stop learning and growing, it’s a part of the necessary evolution for your journey. But instead of looking at what someone has that you don’t, look at them. We can learn so much from each other if we take the time to listen. Get past pleasantries and for goodness sake, don’t talk about the weather. Unless you are both farmers or concerned about an outdoor event you both will be attending, avoid this stale, and overused conversation starter. Now, if you want to find gratitude and start the ball rolling, appreciating the blessing of a beautiful season then by all means! 

But spend some time talking and catching up with old friends, exploring what makes them who they are, and finding opportunities to meet new people. So many of us feel alone in our pain or experiences but you would be surprised who can empathize and even sympathize with what you’re growing through.

Your life is far too valuable to waste chasing material possessions. Find joy today by choosing to pursue “better,” rather than “more.” Treasure your relationships, not your possessions. Your connections will be your most valued treasures. Your jam! Stop searching for the jelly and overlook what or who is right in front of you.

CHALLENGE: Don’t waste a second feeling behind or overshadowed. You have everything you need and it’s enough. Pursue happiness through contentment and your relationships with others. Treasure your uniqueness, it’s your jam!

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Ash Rao for thriveglobal.com
Leo Babauta writes about the Incredible Power of Contentment for zenhabits.com
Barsha Nag Bhowmick  for Times of India