I don’t remember where or when I heard the term, Recovering Perfectionist, but it spoke to me enough to make me scribble it down on a loose gum wrapper in my purse and then tape it to my computer when I got home. (It has since moved into my book of quotes.) Perfection and the pressures we tend to put on ourselves has been a pretty big theme lately in blogland, on social media, and in real life conversations and it’s something I’ve wanted to write about for quite awhile.
I have read, seen, and heard a LOT of things lately about how people are sick and tired of other people supposedly attempting to prove that they live “perfect” lives by the things they have chosen to share – whether that be on social media, blogs, or actual conversations. But here is my question… is that necessarily what those people are actually doing? Or is that just how we, as viewers, have decided to perceive it? Is it possible that we are actually the ones putting some of these pressures on ourselves because we have fallen into the comparison trap? Comparison is a rotten, rotten thing and can sneak up in your mind without you even realizing it’s there. And then as if it weren’t rotten enough, it tricks you into thinking your feelings of inadequacy must be the result of that other person and how they are living (Lies, guys. Lies.) The thing about social media and blogging is that we, as the readers and viewers, can only see what we’re given. On Instagram we see pretty photographs of filtered faces and places and little angel children, on blogs we see beautiful staged backgrounds and often times only-positive posts, and on Facebook we read happy announcements. And here’s what I think about all of that: IT’S OKAY.
Can we be recovering perfectionists without having to hashtag it in every pretty picture we post? Can we share happy posts and let them be just that, without throwing ourselves under some bus at the end of it to remind people we’re not living perfect lives? Can we celebrate all of the “perfect” moments without having to remind people that we are still honest and genuine?
Surely we know that a person’s life is not perfect simply because they post a picture of a clean house, right? I think we’re smarter than that. If anyone thinks that my life is picture-perfect, let me tell you all the ways it’s not, mkay? What’s behind some of my filtered photos? Laundry. Lots of it. Piles of paper that need to be filed and yet sit on my desk because “I’m going to get to it soon!” Bad hair days and bad face days and bad mood days. Unbelievably sore muscles from a “light” workout because dang, I am so out of shape. (I literally need help sitting down.) And a whole lot of other things going on that I choose not to always share publicly. Just because I’m not sharing those things on a consistent basis though, doesn’t mean they’re not happening.Let’s keep in mind that no, we don’t see what’s beyond the lens… we, as readers/viewers, don’t know all of the story because believe it or not some of us do keep some things private and off of social media and blogs – and that’s okay. Our lives have many, many layers… and if we really stop and are honest about it – we know that even the most “perfect” of Instagram accounts are owned by people living lives very similar to our own. I think we need to remember that just because we’re not always blogging about those things, doesn’t mean we’re denying that we’re in the thick of it most days too. And no one should feel like they have to clarify this every time they share something happy for fear they might be judged by someone who perhaps does struggle with the rottenness of comparing, or feels they have the right to judge another person.
Life is a lot of balancing and learning and re-learning just how to balance it as it continues to change and evolve. We as readers and/or viewers should not assume we know it all simply because we’ve seen parts of it on a blog or social media account.
We share parts of our stories on here… but surely those stories are only parts of the chapters that make up our lives. There is beauty to be found in ALL of the stories, ALL of the chapters, ALL of the pictures…. the pretty ones with fake pink flowers (I do love fake pink flowers!) as well as the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. Our lives are different… our paths are special… we all have a different story to share and that’s one of the best things about all of this. Picking apart someone’s chapter is not kind and assuming that we know a person’s whole story is silly.
DO YOU. Share the parts you want to share. Be grateful for all of your moments – the ones that are gross and the ones that are picture-perfect. Be kind to others, remembering that we each have a special story to share, in our own ways and timing.
Today, I am grateful for all of my moments. I am grateful for my life and having the opportunity to share certain parts of it. I am grateful for kind people who practice loving others, and most of all I am grateful for a King who reminds me of this one important rule, and who forgives me when I have forgotten.
Link up below and join the rest of us in starting each day this week with a grateful heart. Not enough time to write a Grateful Heart post today? No worries! This linkup will be open until Friday! You can find the rules of this linkup here.