We tend to think that the grass is always greener on the other side. Everyone else is so much happier than you, is getting so much more done than you, is craftier than you, makes better dinners than you, has a happier marriage than you, has more money than you, travels more than you, and overall has a better life than you.
Why do we always think that we are alone? Why do we feel like we are the only ones struggling?
It’s because out in the real world, through our every day superficial encounters, we only share the highlights of our daily lives. We share the good stuff.
On Facebook, we only post the smiling faces, the cute moments, the flowers we got, the vacation we finally got to go on, the new earrings we bought, and the big PR at the gym.
We all do it. And, there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
I do it every day, myself. I only post the super cute and happy pictures of Bailey. So, most people would assume that Bailey is this perfect, easy-going toddler with a perfect childhood. But, she has tantrums everyday. I’ve yelled at her before. I’ve lost my patience with her at times. She has kicked and punched me and Spencer before. She deliberately disobeys us to test her limits, and has had timeouts and spankings. But, I don’t post those moments. None of us do.
We only post the good stuff – The highlights.
Don’t base your judgments on people on their highlights.
We are all struggling. We all have hardships. We all have bad days, bad relationships, bad jobs, bad commutes, bad accidents, bad finances, bad luck.
We are all fighting our own battles each day.
We only share those battles with those closest to us, though. Only a rare few truly know our whole story.
People often assume that my life is perfect – I have this perfect body, perfect job, perfect family, perfect life. People tell me how lucky I am to have the body I have, to be able to do the things I can do, to have the husband I have, to have the job I have, and the have the life I have. I am so lucky…
Again, most of you only see my highlights. You only see the posts of me getting a new PR, or smiling with Bailey, or seeing the gym busy every day with new clients.
You see the good stuff happening.
What you don’t see, are the humble beginnings, the sleepless nights, the worries, the stress, the sacrifices, the fights, the struggles, the meltdowns, the disappointments, the heartaches, the frustrations, the fear, the countless hours, the blood, sweat and tears.
A rare few of my closest friends know that side of my life.
The truth of the matter is, though, none of you really need to know all that stuff.
But, the point I’m trying to make here is that our highlights are merely a small glimpse into our lives. Appreciate and celebrate those highlights. But, by no means should you ever discredit them. Don’t ever assume they are just lucky. Don’t assume their life is “easy.” Don’t assume that your life is harder than theirs.
Just as you would never want us to assume that being a stay-at-home mom is like a vacation everyday, or being a teacher is the best schedule ever with all of the weekends and holidays, or being a lawyer you’re probably an a**hole, or being divorced you’re probably damaged goods.
Assumptions are bad. Especially when you’re basing them on such superficial things.
Until you really know what someone has gone through to get there, leave it alone.
Just as you are struggling right now to reach your next goal, or to get through your current hardship, so too are all of us.
Highlights get us through the day. It’s what makes the rest of the crap worth enduring.
The next time you are seeing someone’s highlights, rather than make assumptions about them, why not appreciate it for what it is, and leave it at that.
People are beautiful, damaged human beings.
We need to celebrate each other a lot more, and judge each other a lot less.