I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can feel pretty darn bad about myself when I see other peoples’ lives on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media platforms.
Rather than it simply being a joyous time for me to catch up on the lives of my friends and family members and celebrate in the wonderful blessings of life, it can very quickly (and unexpectedly) turn into a shame-spiral.
In a moment, my “happy” (or even neutral mood) can turn sour: shameful thoughts creeping into my mind as I scroll through images of people living their “sparkly” lives.
My eyes take in folks killing it in their careers, celebrating their latest new additions to their families, spending times with their loved ones who live close by (while I yearn to see my own family members who live cross-country).
I see close-knit friends celebrating monumental times in their lives, folks with whom I long to form connections spending time with other people who probably have “more to offer” than I do, friends from a former season in life with whom I no longer remain connected.
I see people so much “cooler” and popular than me, people who are more beautiful, people who are more fit, people who are so much more “like-able,” people who are so much more talented in so many areas where I seem to come up short.
As I continue to scroll, I very quickly realize my life doesn’t look like their lives. My life is not nearly as “perfect” as those I see.
Shame can start to shatter my world a bit, having me question “what’s wrong with me?”
And then there’s the sucker punch to the belly, as I look down and realize I’m wearing the same stained sweatpants that I pulled on three days ago.
If you’ve ever felt this way, please know – you are NOT alone.
I’m there with you, friend. And the more I open up with others about how I can sometimes feel this way…about the self-doubt and blows to the self-esteem that I can sometimes experience…I’ve found that many others have often had the same experience and sentiments.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that social media is often a place where people advertise their wins and present their manicured version of themselves and their lives.
I LOVE that the internet provides a place where we are able to connect with family and friends, especially those who live at a distance. Online platforms also present such wonderful opportunities to form connections with people we would never have otherwise met, and also offer up a space where we can provide encouragement and messages of hope to others.
The problem, however, is that many times people are only willing to share the “good” parts of their lives. Well actually, if we’re honest – many times BETTER versions of their lives (as things are taken out of context, polished up with filters, and presented with a caption that can have life looking pretty magical). I know I, myself, have also been a contributing factor to this problem (sometimes consciously when my ego needs a “bump” of encouragement, other times subconsciously).
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think social media should be a place where we hang our dirty laundry out for all to see, use it as a platform to spread hate/anger/complain about life/etc., or let people in on every single intimate detail of our lives.
However, I would love to see social media being used as a place where folks are able to show up authentically and show more of the “whole story.”
I’d love to see it used as a place where folks can find encouragement, find their tribes, celebrate life highs, and support one another through the inevitable lows. I’d love to see it as a place where we can enter into discussion with one another to discuss controversial viewpoints: not intent on “winning” an argument and telling anyone who disagrees to “piss off”. Rather, I’d love to see it as a place where we can be encouraged to questions and try to understand the basis for the opposing viewpoint.
We can belong together and love our neighbor without having to agree about everything.
Considering all that I’ve said above, what I want you to take away from this conversation is that I believe there is a wonderful opportunity for us to join together and meet each other in our realness, providing love and encouragement to one another – no matter what season in life we find ourselves.
I want to do my part to contribute to this effort, so I’ve creating a blog of my own to create a space on the Internet where folks can find encouragement and a space to be their authentic selves.
My goal is for this blog to be a place where you do not need to hide behind a masked version of your life to polish up your image in an attempt to “hang with the cool kids.”
Disclaimer: everyone’s “cool” in this community – so rock on in your quirky realness.
My hope is for this to be a place where you know you belong and are loved as you are – without having to change anything about yourself.
There may be things in your life that you desire to change; things you are struggling with and need support around as you persevere through.
Great! Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!
We all have our “stuff.” Things in our lives that we are constantly working through; things that shame tempts us to hide in the shadows.
At times, it may look like everyone else has life “figured out,” but I promise you: if that’s what you’re seeing in someone’s life story as you scroll through the pieces of his/her life presented on the Internet – then you’re not seeing the whole story.
We all struggle with something (or if you’re like me, several things!).
Life is not about perfection, it’s about progress.
I think you’ll find as you tackle one area in your life and begin to see improvement, you’ll uncover yet another part of your life that needs some tweaking. It’s inevitable: we’re all human, and we are all have flaws. We’ll never, ever be “perfect.”
But that’s okay – in fact, I think that’s wonderful. In my opinion, it’s when we think we’ve got it all figured out and stop working on ourselves (e.g., developing and improving our character, integrity, self-esteem, and inner-beauty; challenging our pride/ego; learning how we can improve upon lovingly interacting with others in this world, etc.) when it can be truly problematic.
Life is a journey of constant learning, discovery, and growth.
We live in seasons.
Seasons of celebration, hardship, change, stability, prosperity, lack…sometimes the hardest – seasons of “meh.”
We all feel pressured to be ruled by the “should’s” of life, meet external standards, and convince others we’ve “got it all together.”
May this be a place where you do not need to be afraid to own the areas in their lives that aren’t “social media polished.”
I encourage you to show up as yourself, own your mess, own your trials.
May this be a community of friends who are willing to show up for one another, share in all parts and seasons of life, and provide loving support and encouragement throughout all aspects of life.
Authenticity is very important to me, so in my blog posts, I intend to show up “unmasked.”
If you are searching for someone who’s not perfect, who doesn’t have her life all-together, who’s constantly yearning to learn, grow, and improve – well, you’ve found her.
I intend to share in the joys as well as the sorrows of life with you.
I intend to be real, honest, and open about areas in my life that may be a bit difficult to own up to and cause me to feel a bit exposed and vulnerable. But if my being open about the “unpolished” areas of my life can bring encouragement to even one of you, then I believe in my heart that it is well worth it.
OK, my loves. That’s it from me for now. But I want to leave you with a mantra of mine that I’ve held close to my heart and has provided encouragement and strength for me over these past few years. I’ll dive into the details about the meaning behind this mantra in a later blog post. But for now, I leave you with this:
Be Grateful. Be Confident. Be Radiant.
Much love to you, Beautiful.
Shine on in your radiant, gorgeous realness, and bless this world with the gift of “you” that no one but YOU can bring! 🙂