Monday, February 11, 2019

Quit Feeling Bad About Your Life Because of a Picture

We're not all the same.  We don't all get the same upbringing or opportunities.  Some choices work out, others don't.  Some bodies are built for certain kinds of work, others aren't.  When it comes to health and education, I am an advocate for one size NOT fitting everyone.  It is impossible to get great results when treating everyone the same. 

Having said that, I also need to be reminded that I am not alone in my struggles.  Different than others yes, but not alone.  You may not struggle with brain exhaustion or being easily overwhelmed like I am, but there are things in your life that you have/will struggle(d) with.  And to that point, we have that in common.  The fun and even artistic side of social media tricks us into thinking that one great photo indicates the way of a life.  Did you ever see a painting and think, "Wow, that artist must paint perfectly all the time and never have to practice!"  Not likely.

I just turned 39, so it's been about 20 years since I was in the adolescent hay-day.  Recently, I did a lot of reminiscing with my parents about how our various friends and acquaintances' lives from our youth have turned out.  And, ya know what? As a teenager, it feels VERY clear who really has it together and who is insignificant.  Even when you think you're a down to earth, good person, adolescence lies.  So many times, the popular, everyone's favorite person didn't do too well or ended up with a really rough situation.  The one you didn't appreciate maybe, turns out they really did life well.  Sure, there are a lot of reasons why people's lives go the way they do, but the point is, none of us can see the future.  Don't make judgments on yourself based on a comparison of others one moment in time.  It is practically useless. 

Life is complicated and requires maintenance.  I can post a photo every week of a clean room, dressed up people, and smiles all around, but that photo doesn't somehow eliminate yelling, crying, stains, or messes the rest of the week.  That weekly photo just might be a sanity saver of mine so that I don't completely throw in the towel when everything is a mess inside and out. The voice in our head can easily lie if we don't educate it better.  The next time you're scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, keep these thoughts in mind.

  • Everyone struggles somewhere, sometime.
  • Your weaknesses might be their strengths (and vice versa).
  • You have a LOT to be thankful for.  Focus on that!
  • Be joyful for others.  Be content with yourself. Be motivated to grow. Be real.
  • God can/will use you and all your struggles, sometimes more than your successes.

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