It’s confession time.
Lately, I have been struggling with the feeling like I’m not enough. That sounds so cliché, and in fact I don’t even want to own that. In my heart I know that isn’t true. But, let me tell you something that social media is really good at doing. It’s really good at making us feel inadequate. Rarely do we scroll through Pinterest or Instagram or Facebook and see somebody’s hot mess and think, “yes, I want to be like her.” No, we see the perfect kids, the clean and beautifully furnished homes, the fabulous makeup and hair, the amazing vacations, and the seemingly flawless life and we start to believe that we need and want more of what they seem to have. It’s fun to read about the lives of others, but it isn’t always as real as it looks. I have to admit, my life on social isn’t always as it seems either.
Do I want you to see my “real life” with all the clutter and mess and craziness all the time?
Do I want you to see me living a perfect life all the time?
Trying to keep up with strangers on social media who are living what appears to be an amazingly unblemished lifestyle is a slippery slope though, isn’t it? The next thing you know, you are on Amazon or out shopping (with money you probably don’t have or at least money shouldn’t be spending on those things) to create a life like the stranger you are following on social.
What you aren’t seeing on the social feed is….
the clutter in the background
the fight her kids just had
the mom behind the camera who is still in her pajamas with no make-up and hair up
the huge amount of stress she has from bills
the argument she just had with her husband
the hurt and struggles she has from her past
the pile of dishes in the sink and the sticky floors she walks on
the loads of wrinkled laundry she hasn’t folded in three days
the babysitter who watches her kids so she can make the beautiful videos she posts on social
Is this you? Some of these are me.
Nobody’s life is as it seems.
What we are really looking for is the good FEELINGS that we get when we see these photos and images of these strangers living the “perfect” life. It feels good to think that life could be clutter free. It feels good to believe that life could be stress free. It feels good to think that your kids would do everything you ask them to and not be sassy about it and call you the “worst mom ever” for asking them to pick up their bedrooms. It feels good to imagine yourself on the relaxing vacation on the beach or in the mountains or hiking through Europe. It feels good to think that you could be all caught up on laundry and dishes and mopping and scrubbing toilets.
But, here’s the thing. That isn’t reality for most of us, right? Most of us want to believe the lie that we will one day be call caught up. Then we will be happy. We will be better and happier people if we have well-behaved children, live in a better house, have nicer stuff, have a clean and magazine worthy home, made more money, and you can keep filling in the blanks.
What if we had all of that? Then would we be happy? In reality, probably not.
That lie of happiness coming from having more things and going on and more adventures and being supermom who is all caught up on housework comes from our comparison of other people….people we don’t even know who aren’t caught up – it just looks like they are on social media! And comparison is robbing our joy and our ability to be who we truly are.
As I was at the grocery store shopping late one evening this week, I was reminded of how amazing my life is now. I was behind a family purchasing WIC items and it was taking some extra time to check out, so I picked up a magazine and started flipping through it while I waited. Instantly, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. You see, we were that WIC family eight years ago. Through a series of circumstances in our life and marriage, we were literally in a rock bottom place. In those challenging times, we vowed to make a better life for ourselves and our future. My husband and I worked hard on our personal and spiritual development over the years, created visions for our lives based on what our hearts truly wanted and not what we thought we were supposed to have. And, in line at the grocery store, it truly hit me that I am enough and I have enough. We have come so far and through so much. When you can get to a place of gratitude for what you have and where you have been, you can really be thankful for what you have right now and be in a place where you are ready to receive more.
Sometimes gratitude and staying positive can be hard when we are in a rock bottom place and we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. You might be thinking…
“Yeah right Hannah, you have no idea how hard my life is and your talk of gratitude and being thankful is ridiculous.”
Trust me, I get it. I’ve been there with my hard, hurt, resentful heart. But, I have grown to believe there is always, always something to be grateful for though. If you are reading this, you most likely have a cell phone or a computer which makes you among the world’s richest people. You have a roof over your head. You probably have eaten a meal today or have some food in your fridge or pantry. Start small with your gratitude list. The very best thing you can do for yourself is to be grateful for the smallest things. Find yourself a journal or even just scratch paper and write down five things that you are truly grateful for in your life today. It’s so amazing how our mindset starts to shift from “not enough” to “wow, I am enough and I do have enough” when we practice gratitude regularly.
I am inviting you to make a big change in your mindset. And, when you find yourself scrolling through social media and feeling “less than” or wishing you had what she seems to have, just shut it down and go to your grateful space.
May this encourage you today. And, may we all be a little more real.