Friday, March 17, 2017

Finding Grace in Social Media

One of the hallmarks of our culture and time is the effect social media on our relationships.  It began with the onslaught of advertising 60 years ago and now culminates in our friends sharing a good picture of their life.  Too often we believe the staged is real and get overwhelmed at the high standard OR we criticize the realistic only to comfort ourselves that we aren't that bad.  
You've probably read online about how only people in failing relationships post the 'perfect' pictures and gush about how great they are.  At the same time we also have a climate where posting anything could potentially get us in trouble, even if it's innocent.  The genuine person is guilty of something no matter what they do!

Don't get me wrong.  I understand that there are stereotypes in this world for a reason.  People can be ridiculous, fake, shallow and deceitful.  Still, amidst those realities are other realities that we shouldn't ignore.

Sometimes that picture of a new car or house is a lifelong victory.  Other times that relationship gushing is filling a great need in their partner.  That perfect photo of that perfect life might just be the best moment they've had in months and the only thing that makes them feel normal amidst a very dysfunctional reality.

One of my most favorite photos, but reminds me of so many conflicting emotions.  Photos can be deceiving, but really they are just snapshots - and that's not a bad thing.

I guess what I'm talking about here is grace.  I don't have to like you and you don't have to like me.  My choices may never be your choices.  You will undoubtedly think things about what I say and do that may or may not be right.  Still, when you find yourself about to spew judgments about others - how their relationship must be awful or their choice of staged photo means this or that - pause and look at them with a mother's eyes.  Or better yet, look at them with God's eyes.  See their pain or their struggle.  See their weaknesses and love them anyway.

I'm about to be a mother of 3 - a pretty daunting task - and over the last 7 years I've experienced a lot of the downs of parenting.  Being tired, judging other mothers, being judged by other mothers, feeding struggles, milestone competitions, jealousy, pressure to perform, pressure to do it all and absolute failure to feel good about any part of it some days.  The media and us regular people can make a big deal over anything and sometimes that ruins us.  Somehow we need to get to a place where my victory can be celebrated right along with yours even if they look vastly different.  So, try to calm down your feelings about what everyone else is doing.  Do good. Celebrate the good.  And just love them anyway!
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