Why is it that we can look at something that we don’t have, and fantasize about it, dream about how much better it is? I know this is going to sound counter intuitive, but that’s why I try to stay away from Social Media. Sure people are having fun, but they only post the Good Moments. Sure their new Baby picture is awesome, but you don’t see the other 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. How much of that was their child crying, throwing a fit, or just other kid stuff. The truth is, sure from your perspective they have a great life. You want to know a secret, they’re looking at your freedom, and singleness, and they’re reminiscing about how great they had it. Chances are if you’re looking at someone’s life and thinking that they have it great, they’re also looking at someone else and thinking that they have it great. So why write this, no I’m not angry or am I going to lament about someone else’s life. Rather I’d like to talk about how we can be content with OUR LIFE, ways that we can find joy in the everyday things we do.
Are you seeing the Whole Picture?
Yesterday I went for a Hike as part of my Sunday/Funday Adventure, towards the end I came across a beautiful view of a beach. Sometimes I feel that when we compare or lives to others, or we see a snapshot of their lives, we’re forgetting a few important details. This picture was taken from a few hundred feet up, people appear as little specs. The climb up to this spot was treacherous, just one slip and I’d fall all the way down to the bottom. It was nearly vertical, so much so that I was also climbing with my hands. I’m not saying this to get credit, but to point out that to get to this beautiful view, it was at the expense of my life. Sometimes I feel that we see other people’s lives and we don’t ask. How high up did you have to climb to get there, is it something I’m willing to do? How long did it take you to get there, do I have the time to invest in that? How did you get down from there, is it worth my life? So my point is that if you saw this picture and thought wow that’s a great view, and didn’t think of what it took to get there, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Without more information you don’t know if what someone else has is something you’re even willing to do. Whether you’re capable of duplicating what they did.
Poor Pitiful ME!
I’m not saying this to be insensitive, or to down play your problems, but sometimes it’s important to remember that EVERYONE, has their problems. Everyone has moments of doubt, shame, and regret. At times we all will hear that voice in our heads say you’re not “good enough” “pretty enough” “smart enough.” I was watching a movie “Mom’s night out” a few nights ago, there was a scene when the main character was going through this very battle. She was questioning everything she had set out to do that night. It seemed that everything she had tried to do was going up in big horrible flames. As she was asking out aloud if she was enough, another character turned to her and asked “enough for who.” While this is a simple statement, it’s implications are so vast. When you’re comparing yourself to others, or even doubting that what you’re doing is worthwhile, who’s the one doubting? Chances are, you’re questioning yourself, no one else is physically there doubting you. Ok so I know that this is not always the case, for some people they’re surrounded by parents, family, and partners who belittle them, and make them feel insignificant. I’m not talking about those scenarios, and even for those, I would say be intentional about who you surround yourself with. Are you around people that will build you up and make you strong, or those who would use their words to hurt you. If you’re your only critic, then learn how to be less critical of yourself. Learn how to remove your own obstacles from in front of you.
Life is still happening ALL around me!
It’s discouraging to think, but the world doesn’t revolve around me! When I’ve fallen down and scraped my knee, when I’m feeling depressed, when I’m feeling that I’ll never accomplish what I’d like. Life hasn’t stopped, you’re still out there posting your awesome pics of your life, you’re still having great parties, you’re still telling EVERYONE about your awesome relationship (or the good parts of it anyway). Life is still going on despite of what I’m going through. It might sound a bit sadistic, but EVERYONE has problems, think about it, no one is immune from bad things happening. I find this reassuring, and it’s not because “misery loves company” but it helps keep me grounded. In my head I feel as though others are living in a Utopian bubble, they’ve found the love of their life, they have an awesome career, and the’re living their dream life. Reality tells me that this is more of an illusion. So if it’s true that LIFE goes on despite my sad moments, then I have to go out and seek out my own happiness. I have to find my “little moments of joy” Yesterday was a perfect example of just that, after a great hike and breath taking views, I found out I was 2 hours late for work. My schedule had changed, and I hadn’t double checked it. Not to mention, once I got there, there just seemed to be multiple problems waiting until I got there. Bad things will happen, I’ll also be depressed, I’ll also compare my life to yours. Despite all that, I have to be intentional about seeking out “moments of joy” I have to go out and live life, instead of life dictating how I spend my time. If I have a choice, I will surround myself with people who lift me up and inspire me. Whether it’s fellow bloggers giving me kind words, or even my kind words coming to someone when they need it most.
I believe that we are all connected in a way, I’m not just talking about religion. I believe that we have the capacity to sense when others are hurting and are in need. For me I’m learning how to embrace this and to send words of encouragement, especially when you need it most. I’d like to step away from my usual writing and share a quick story. Another reader OwlOfKnowledge, sent me a thank you a few days ago. Apparently I had sent her a reply to one of her posts a few months back. For reasons unknown, my reply was not read at the time, but in a time that she needed encouragement, my old response resurfaced. Just when she needed those specific words of encouragement, that’s when they found her. I don’t write because I’d like to have a certain number of followers, or that I’d like to think of myself as important. I write because of little moments like that, I’ve had a few of those with close friends of mine. This is the best way to reach more of you, to reach you in your quite moment when you’re not sure of your world around you. The moments when the Universe brings you the kind and encouraging words you needed.