So often I hear stories from friends and clients about the shame they feel in not measuring up to how everyone else looks. They talk about what they see on their friends’ facebook pages…neat, clean homes, manicured lawns, happy, smiling children, couples getting along fabulously, beautiful selfies, marathons, amazing adventures, etc. As far as they know, all of their friends and acquaintances have life all figured out. Unfortunately, they then take this limited information that people share with them and compare it to EVERYTHING they know about themselves. Everything meaning the arguments with their spouse, the annoyance and impatience with the children, the piles of laundry and the aging body. Wrinkles, cellulite, the tiring vacations, the awful pics taken and quickly deleted before anyone else can see. This is the place where shame makes itself at home and grows bigger and stronger. People feel they should be doing, being, making, maintaining and all around living “better.”
Enter “For Real Fridays” on Facebook. Have you heard of this fun experiment in honesty yet? Over the past few weeks I have been asking friends to post something real about themselves on Facebook and I’m doing the same. I want us all to see one another’s beautiful, messy and true lives, not just the pretty beach pictures and other images of perfection. Our society has become so focused on achievement and success that we’ve lost sight of the most important things….friendships, family, giving, helping and frankly, simply having fun. I like to think that “For Real Fridays” can help us remember that in the moments we need it most.
I love reading about authenticity and vulnerability. I try to practice these traits as often as I can and I’ve been rewarded greatly for that. I have found hundreds of beautifully imperfect friends and acquaintances who have been so kind to show me the messy parts of their lives. We can walk down this road together, accepting ourselves and others because we’ve found the peace that comes with surrendering the pretense of perfection.
So, along with all those exciting pictures of vacations and fun family times, let’s make a practice of posting a truer version of what is going on in our lives. You know…just keepin’ it real. At least on Fridays.