The big thing making the social media rounds this week was the Facebook movie of everyone's life. You would click on a link and wha la! Facebook would pull your pictures and make a movie set to soul bearing symphony music. It was your life, your whole life and nothing but your life-in 62 seconds.Or was it? I clicked on a couple of my friends movies and loved them. I loved seeing their pictures and all of the lovely moments they have enjoyed over the past few years. Without even thinking I clicked on the link to create mine. Big mistake. The Facebook movie of my life wasn't as happy-go-lucky as all my friends were. Pictures of my husband and I pierced at my heart. I could tell which throws of chemo we were in by the level of his baldness. In the midst of the sad pictures were those scattered in of my son. Those moments were supposed to be the joyful ones. Instead I'm left with the ache of how they should have never been mixed with such painful moments at the same time. An empty hollow feeling came over me as I started to compare my movie to others. But then an odd thing happened. I see the Facebook movie of a dear friend who had endured a heartbreaking divorce. You would have never known it by her movie. Instead you see the happy pictures of her smiling with her children, going on vacations and to parties. Her brilliant smile was masking a deep pain. No where was that reflected in the Facebook movie of her life. Theodore Roosevelt called comparison the "thief of joy" and nothing could be more true. I could go mad if I were constantly comparing my life to the life of my friends. So many of my precious friends have the family and the life I had, but lost. If I thought about the unfairness of it all my mind could go crazy making the comparisons be they good ones or bad ones.
Which I why I refuse to go there, for several reasons.
#1-No matter how bad you think you have it, there's always someone who has it worse than you do.
There are some widows who had their husbands taken from them much sooner than the 9 amazing years I had with mine. I can be thankful for the time I was able to enjoy. Yes, being a single Mom is so difficult, but at least I still have a piece of my husband here with me. Many other widows don't have the luxury of a child and would give anything in the world for it.
#2-Everything is not always as it appears to be.
I heard a great quote by Steven Furtick recently where he said to stop comparing your "behind the scenes" to someone else's highlight reel. These cute little movies everyone crafted served to create a false sense of reality. The good/bad part about social media is we can alter it to create whatever image of ourselves we want to exist. What that tends to do is portray a life far more glamorous than it really is.
Yes, your Facebook and Instagram may make your life look happy and exciting but that can be far from the true story. But yet we retake and retake the photo until we find the perfect one we want the world to see.
We've all done it.
What I say to that is this:
Don't be discouraged by where you are currently. Especially compared to others. Because you never know the truth of their reality. You're only seeing the highlights.
I won't lie, I cried the first time I saw the Facebook movie of my life. I did not hit the share button. And that's ok. I also quit watching my friends movies. And that's fine as well. I don't need a movie to tell me that even though I've endured a lot of pain in the past year, there have been a lot of good moments too. They were noticeably absent from the movie. And I'm just fine with that.
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