Monday, February 8, 2016

Balancing the Walls of Smiles.

My new friend was commenting on how happy my family is as she looked at the walls of photos in my home. I gratefully thanked her at first. But then she continued -- commenting on their smiles and even adding that we must be amazing parents for them to be so happy. At this point, I gently patted her arm and said, "You do know I don't frame photos from our bad days, right?"

The conversation stayed with me after she left. It occurred to me that much like the walls in my home, my social media walls reflect the very best side of life.  I mean let's face it, on my hard days, I might post a prayer request, I might post a photo (or three) expressing outrage at people blocking the handicap accessible loading zones, I might even share my heart about surgeries, college kids moving out, and flat tires. But I don't tweet out other photos. I don't open Instagram and catch the moment for all time. I don't point my Canon and say here, let's capture this and share it with the world.

Photographs for me are therapeutic because they do capture our very best moments, our dearest times together, our special occasions. Photographs allow me to walk back through time, reliving, remembering and reflecting on precious days.

And yet,  I see how dangerous that can be. I know that on my hard days, scrolling through Friend X's photos and seeing her picture perfect children running, jumping, climbing can cause me to covet in my heart.

I know that on my hard days, scrolling through Friend Y's page and seeing her amazing date nights with her hubby and what seems from my computer screen a perfect marriage can cause me to compare my own marriage.

I know that on my hard days, scrolling through Friend Z's page and seeing her workout goals, her food pictures and her dressing room selfies can make me feel discouraged and dowdy and cause my self-esteem to plummet.

I don't take pictures on my hard days. And can I assure you that no one else does either? Can I hug you from here and assure you that no one has a picture perfect life? Pictures capture the best. They save the moment for us forever and oh how I do love photographs. But sprinkled in the mix, we all have hard days. We all have days completely unworthy of a tweet, an Insta or whatever the newest social medium.

And just because sometimes we do take pictures on our hard days....

Today, there are bags under my eyes begging for more sleep, less worry and perhaps a little coffee. I tried to snap a selfie but good-grief that might prove an even bigger point cause nobody needs to see THAT. :)

Will you promise to do me this favor: scroll through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with a grain of reality that no one is posting their baggie-eyed selfies. We are putting our best foot forward, our best chins up and our best angles only.  We are posting the happy days. We are tweeting the fun moments. But that doesn't mean we DON'T have bags under our eyes. Or that we don't have some double-chin action happening. Or that any of our days are perfect. What it means is that we are opting to take a deep breath and thank God for the gifts in our life. You know counting our...

Carol - The Blessings Counter