Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
You may recall that I gave up Facebook for Lent. Boy, am I glad I did. Yes, I definitely miss hearing about all the good news (babies being born, engagements, kid celebrations and milestones, et al). What I don’t miss? All that bragging, complaining, arguing and stretching the truth.
I’m certainly guilty, like many of you, for taking to the status update before really examining whether it should be written or reflected upon. If you can’t say something nice, right? Being off the grid (well, partially off the grid, I’m still tweeting and blogging) has given me quiet. A little rest. A portion of my day has been reclaimed to reflect, meditate and pray about my shortcomings and how I can be a better wife, mother and woman of God.
Here’s the real problem:
You see that happy, smiling family above? We start to resent them. Our internal dialogue gets the better of us. We can’t see the beauty of the photo and the people in it. No, we resort to comparison, judgment and low self-worth. We start to believe that this is the way that family always looks. Trust me, be a fly on our walls around 5pm and you’ll see differently. We only see what we want to see. Perfect families only exist in picture frames.
What our eyes don’t show us is reality. All those fabulous vacation pictures and kids winning awards and fancy date nights among spouses? They always seem to look beautiful and fun and awesome. But, what about the friend who tweets how “fab her hubby is” but you know the marriage is barely holding together? There are the kids who look so well-behaved and happy, yet you know they are disrespectful and struggling with self-esteem. The vacation photos are breathtaking, but so is the credit card bill.
You see, we’ve started to compare ourselves to a virtual world that doesn’t exist. We compare ourselves with things in which we can never compete. We forget to celebrate the gifts God has given our friends and family. We can’t be happy for people because we’re too busy making excuses for why we’re better than they are.
Lent is slowly reminding me, with each passing day, that happiness doesn’t come from this world, but from Him. We can accumulate many things, travel to far off places, meet celebrities and post it all online for millions to admire. But we’re impressing the wrong people. I’m finding myself drawn to women that challenge me to strengthen my relationship with God, which in turn, strengthens my relationships with my husband, children and friends. It is hard work overhauling your soul. God’s expectations are so high, aren’t they?
There is only one family worthy of comparison. The Holy Family.
On the days when you feel like the rest of the world has it better than you, just look around. Write down ten things you’re grateful for and put them in your wallet. I had a priest give me that as a penance once.
I still have that list.
Girl, you bless me! Thanks for saying the hard things and making us all think.
Beautifully written and heartfelt as always. I love that as an educator, I learn from you everyday! Next time I need to discipline the pre teen or tell them why we can’t always have immediate gratification, I will use your penance…we all need to carry that list!
Nicely said. If there was a “like” button, I would click it. 😉
FANTASTIC post! I’ve been so convicted over the past several months… Reading blogs that make me feel inadequate, comparing myself to friends who seem to have boundless energy (think Energizer bunny), etc. My break from FB has also been a welcome breath of fresh air – and our hiatus from television has also given us more time in the evening to read, have bible time with the kids, etc. The older I get, the less “free” time I seem to have, the more intentional I’m trying to be with it… I have told JB, if it doesn’t bless my life or grow me spiritually, I’m trying to cut it out! Sending a hug your way. I think you are fabulous – and your family, too!
This is great. I found you from a link posted by Kathleen at http://thesejoyfulmysteries.blogspot.com/ I can relate to what you are saying. I am cautious with facebook, rarely posting anything, I have a twitter account but don’t tweet much. 🙂 The point you make is so very valid. It is easy to get caught up in the whole social media world and forget the real world in which we live. Thanks for this reminder.
LOVED this post!! I haven’t given up FB completely yet, but I am trying to limit myself to getting on only when I need to respond to a message and I have taken it off of my phone which has helped. My favorite book right now is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. The book and the practice of counting my gifts to one thousand have truly been life changing for me. If you haven’t read it, I think you would definitely appreciate it. Btw, I found you through my friend Leana after she shared a link to your post about female yell leaders. I am really enjoying reading your blog!
I took the app off my phone, too. I will definitely have to check out that book. I’m always looking for a good read. And, welcome to the blog! So happy to hear you’re enjoying it. My kids provide great humor 🙂
This — “I’m finding myself drawn to women that challenge me to strengthen my relationship with God, which in turn, strengthens my relationships with my husband, children and friends. It is hard work overhauling your soul. “— poignant, amazing, and beautiful.
I’m sharing it with the #Cathsorority peeps on Twitter.
You are too kind. We need to meet in person! Maybe at next year’s Behold conference 🙂
Love the post Kathryn! I actually gave up “comparing” for Lent, and it has been a hard habit to break. Mostly because I am so hard on myself, and feeling like everyone else in the universe must be getting it right!! Not true.
A good friend passed away this weekend, and one of her last FB posts was, “Dear God, I wanna take a minute, not to ask you for anything, but to thank you for all I have.” I will carry that memory forever, and try to remember that I am enough for Him.
I found you from Kathleen Sweeney’s post–I LOVE this! You hit the nail on the head. I went off facebook a while ago for just these reasons. I started to feel bad about myself because everyone seemed to have more and better…I realized that I didn’t need that in my life. I have found more women of faith, that strengthen my bond with God, through blogging.
So glad to have found your blog!