I was on Facebook yesterday when I read one of my friend’s post : “Has anyone ever felt like a total loser when looking at other people’s lives and pictures on here besides me?” I probably wouldn’t have thought much about this question except last week I faced criticism of my own writing and pictures in this blog and had a tough week in general. While thinking about that criticism, the question my friend asked, and Facebook in general, I found this quote : “WELCOME TO FACEBOOK, the place where RELATIONSHIPS are perfect, LIARS believe they are telling the truth, & the WORLD shows off they are living a great life: where your FRIENDS & FAMILY block you: and even though you write what you’re really thinking, someone takes it the wrong way!!!” For the most part, this quote is true, but…it has never bothered me. Pictures or status updates of beautiful houses, gardens, cars, pools, views, vacations, bathrooms, pets, birthdays, weddings, jobs, children, husbands, wives, and of course….perfect workout sessions…has never bothered me. So what’s the problem? The problem, to me, seems to be with the receiver or viewer of this information. If you’re a person who sees or hears this information and it makes you feel worse about yourself, there is a problem. The easy answer is to say log off and quit Facebook, but Facebook isn’t the real problem is it? It’s the comparison which can take place in all areas of life. It is NEVER a good idea to compare yourself to others. You are you…your life is yours. Make the most of your own life.
On a personal level, I would like to remind people to not make the mistake of assuming people who share “perfect” pictures and positive stories are presenting themselves as perfect people. If you do this, YOU are the one assuming the person is or is trying to be perfect. No one has a perfect life. We all have stuff. As a Strength Coach, Father, Man, and seriously amateur blogger, my goal is to inspire…not intimidate. If I act as if my life is perfect, I am intimidating instead of inspiring. Having said that, I realize I mostly share funny children inspirations, beautiful pictures, and positive messages. This does not mean my life is perfect. As a matter of fact, as I write this now, Aleck is sitting in time-out for putting a gallon of shampoo on Emma Grace’s hair, Ella and Emma Grace are about to join him if they don’t stop fighting over a stinking green crayon, and Amy is going through the house like the Tasmanian Devil because she has lost her checkbook and the business checkbook… allllllll while Phineas and Ferb and Disney XD blare through the TV at 100000 decibels. I don’t take pictures of the girls screaming as we try to get the tangles out of their curly hair after every bath, of Amy and I passing like two trains in the night sometimes, of my 15 hour days, or of anxiety I have about being good enough of a father. That’s how it is in life right? We don’t always share the “stuff”. We don’t take pictures of the tears, temper tantrums, or pain. We don’t write about the hectic school mornings, struggles with business, or finances. We don’t share troubles with reading and math, sick parents, and broken down cars. We don’t tell about our fears, addictions, or failures. We don’t talk about learning disabilities, bullying, or depression. Just because it isn’t on Facebook, on a Blog, on a person’s face, or in a person’s words, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Believe me it’s there…for every person in this world…I promise. So my advice is : 1. Understand that NO ONE…NO LIFE is perfect. 2. Take in anything positive people have to offer(pictures, stories, experiences, accomplishments, etc.). 3. Realize comparison leads to NOTHING but bitterness. 4. Learn from the imperfections and the struggles in your life. 5. Accept and appreciate the blessings you have. 6. Share
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.”