This morning as I scrolled through my facebook feed I ran across a post that threw me, one of my friends announced her decision to file for divorce from her husband of over thirteen years. There are two things that caught me off guard, one was the fact that she had the guts to blast the news all over social media because as a semi-private person that is just getting comfortable with opening up to the world, I don’t think I would have had the desire to allow people into my business on that level, but different strokes. The second and real thing that shocked me was that just days before I ran across another post of she and her husband in what looked like an extremely joyous situation. They were out on a date night, celebrating the brief freedom from daily responsibilities, taking cuddly, kissy selfies and posting it all for the world to see. I had never seen anything on her newsfeed that would remotely point to an unhappy situation. We aren’t that close and in real life we’re maybe distant associates so I didn’t feel comfortable asking about the situation or even commenting on the status, but I did want to know how and why it happened? Partially because I’m nosey but mostly because I used to long for a successful marriage and family of my own based off of the glimpses of happiness portrayed in her and a couple others feeds. I didn’t want to see another marriage bite the dust, especially one that I looked up to from a far.
Unfortunately, it’s the tragedy of the highlight reel. We get to edit, Photoshop and tweak our lives into our personal perfection even if we aren’t truly living it. I honestly don’t even think many of us do it consciously as I can’t see too may people stopping in the middle of a heated argument to announce, we should take a selfie! Most of us try to keep the lowlights of our lives locked tightly behind closed doors and definitely off of social media (although I have seen a couple of pretty comical FB fights). If we lose sight of this key fact, we can find ourselves in the dreaded comparison trap where we are pitting our blooper reel against someone elses highlight reel. I’m guilty of it and fell prey easily because I pined for a family of my own, so when I looked at photos or videos of my friends sharing the brightest moments with their significant others and kids it would at times make me unhappy with where I was in my life. That’s the biggest problem with comparing your life to someone else’s, it becomes easy to be unsatisfied with the blessings God has given you. In turn you choose to be unhappy and unappreciative based off of a perception that your life would be so much better ‘if’.
To be happy with our true authentic selves we must burn the highlight reel (as one of my favorite speakers would say) and stop comparing our lives whether it’s to gain a sense of superiority or to wallow in what we don’t have. Always keep in mind that there are so many facets to human beings that no one can possibly get every aspect of that across on a social media network and that these are just glimpses of imperfect people leading imperfect lives. And even if they truly are living their highlight reels try to set aside thoughts of jealousy or envy, pray that their blessings continue to overflow, embrace your own journey and keep it moving because you are needed as the star in your own movie, no one else can play that part.