The way we portray our lives and perceive the lives of others on social media is an important dialogue I’d like to open up. We are filled with constant words and pictures of others and we form these ideas in our heads of what that person is like or how their life is.
THEIR LIFE IS NOT PERFECT. I promise.
I want to touch on two areas about this.
- Feeling down on yourself about your own life based on how happy or exciting someone else’s life appears to be
Maybe they post a happy picture with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe they landed their dream job. Maybe they have a lot of money. Maybe they workout a lot and always seem to eat the perfect meals. Maybe they have a lot of friends.
Maybe there is hidden abuse behind closed doors and they don’t want to admit it to themselves yet, let alone to the world. Maybe their dream job came to be after they lost it all and had to start fresh. Maybe their parents give them a lot of money because they don’t know how to give them a lot of love. Maybe they can’t control anything in their lives besides what they eat and how their body looks. Maybe twenty friends that don’t want to hear about your struggles in life aren’t quite as good as two friends that do.
It doesn’t mean that every exciting or beautiful picture has some hidden, dark meaning. Not at all. We all have happy moments! But deciding that someone else has a better life than you because of a picture or status is a dangerous game. Especially when you are comparing a person’s great day to your bad day. How many times have you posted something happy without describing the inner workings of your family issues or deepest fears? Do. Not. Compare. Yourself. To. Others. You are great and your life is yours and you don’t need to be like anyone else.
P.S: I am no exception. I have been there time and time again wondering why I can’t do this yoga pose, why I’m not in a jungle in some exotic country, why so and so is so damn happy and I’m sitting on the floor crying. I am learning this lesson right along with you. But thoughts create things and your mind can be a dangerous neighborhood. Once you recognize that, you can stop the crime from happening right in its tracks.
- Portraying your life as only positive, even in dark times, and neglecting to express the negative
What really opened my eyes up to the importance of this topic is when I found the courage to post this on Instagram:
…and it got a lot of good attention. I realized, when I spoke up, not only did people relate, but they wanted it to be a topic of discussion as well. Telling them the truth about my sadness at the time led to a flow of love and support from unexpected people. I was shocked. And in the end it was so beautiful. I doubt any of those great people realize how much it meant to me to be recognized for doing something out of my comfort zone and fessing up to the truth of my sadness. So here I am thanking you for that. You were a seed in the process of this blog coming to be what it is.
People aren’t generally comfortable with letting others in and being vulnerable in their daily lives, let alone online – the easiest source to fake it. They want to trick themselves into thinking their lives are perfect just as much as they want you to believe it. I have been in circumstances where someone close is communicating with me about their current dilemma around the same time a picture goes up on Instagram of them smiling. Have you ever experienced anything like that? Notice the patterns. Understanding leads to compassion. The world can use all the compassion it can get.
I encourage you to open up in one form or another. Once you are honest with yourself, you will realize there is nothing to prove to anyone else. Take pride in your genuine feelings. Take pride in your story. It is so inspiring to read the words of a person’s hardships and how they survived it. What you go through is YOUR story. To share or not is completely your choice, but I promise if you let others in a little bit more, you will notice the humanity stored in all of us waiting to be needed.
How was your day? How have you been lately? I want to know the truth.
Whatever that truth is, all is well. You can always count on impermanence.