I get so tired of people being fake on social media. We see the best of their relationships, the most luxurious of their vacations, and their perfectly posed photos, and then we compare ourselves, at our worst, to them. It can drive you mad, it can cause you pain, and it can make you doubt the blessings in your own life.
Well I’m sick of it so I’m going to be real with you for a moment.
Hi. My name is Anya, and I absolutely do not have it together. Yes I have an amazing husband and a wonderful marriage, but I also have an ex and a divorce under my belt. I have two wonderful kids, but I fail them on a daily basis. I often give them fast food when I should be cooking, I don’t check their backpacks and their grades often enough, and I probably spend too much time on my phone when I could be spending quality time with them.
My house is a disaster. Not the “it’s not perfect so I’m telling you it’s a mess” kind of disaster. The “I need at least two week’s notice before you even attempt to show up at my house” kind of disaster. I am completely consumed by it and I have no idea where to begin to fix it.
I’m seriously overweight. Morbidly obese. I weigh more right now than I ever have in my entire life. The reason for that is because I gained a lot of weight during my cancer treatments. But guess what? Those ended over a year ago and I’m still carrying this weight. I’m miserable. I’m embarrassed to leave my house. I’m disgusted by my own reflection in the mirror. But I’ve lost weight so many times with so many different methods that I’m overwhelmed at how to go about it, so I haven’t started. I need help, I desperately want help, but I can’t afford a trainer or a coach or anything else. My answer is to drown my sorrows in a pint of ice cream. Not helpful.
I struggle with anxiety. Two years of stressing about lost jobs, medical bills, replacing wrecked vehicles, and multiple health problems in my family have destroyed my nerves. It doesn’t take much to send my blood pressure reeling and my heart rate through the roof, and then I can’t breathe. If I’m really honest with you, I haven’t been able to breathe for two weeks, and I’m positive it’s anxiety induced, but I won’t ask my doctor because I’m terrified my cancer has come back in my chest and I don’t want to know. Oh yeah, I guess I should have mentioned I also live in constant fear of that diagnosis, even though I know it’s wrong to worry about things I have no control over.
But this is me. The real me. Beyond the sarcastic front I put on Facebook, beyond the witty remarks on Twitter, this is me. I’m a mess, and I have a strong feeling I’m not the only one. So why are we so afraid to let people see that? Are we afraid of being judged? I can assure you, I judge myself more harshly than any of you ever could. What if instead of judging we offered support? What if we shared our real struggles and realized we have people around us going through the same things? What if they’ve already conquered what you’re going through and they could help?
In the grand scheme of things, someone who’d judge you for your real struggles isn’t someone you need in your life anyway. You might find that getting rid of those influences eliminates some of the very things you’re dealing with. I’ve lost a lot of “friends” during the past couple of years, and it’s really okay. I find that I don’t miss them because they probably weren’t good for me in the first place.
I fear that we are so wrapped up in being competitive, that we’re losing the ability to be compassionate. That’s scary. Compassion is too important to be lost, and saving it begins with being unashamedly real with each other. So what do you say? Let’s give it a shot. Be real. Then encourage your friends to be real. Then really BE THERE for them when they are.
Really be there.
Make the world a better place.