Social media is a highlight reel. You know it. I know it. People say it all the time. But sometimes, we need another reminder, and this morning I feel moved.
I am humbled daily by the “behind the scenes” stories I know exist.
In addition to the smiles, confidence, humor, well-typed captions, and beauty WE ALL consume and create, there also exists…
…month after month of praying for a positive pregnancy test, only to feel that gut punch of disappointment when only one line shows up.
…chronic, debilitating illness. The kind that not only overtakes your body and renders it incapable of daily function, but that seeps into relationships and threatens their vivacity as well.
…pregnancy loss and the painful, bloody, hormonal, emotional journey back to centered after losing something that existed solely within a mother’s body.
…the agony of divorce or separation. The tearful conversations. The weight and grief of a chosen, seemingly controllable loss. The mental see-saw of doubt and trust, hope and fear.
…the loss of a job or vocation, and therefore a re-examination of purpose, identity, and aptitude. A good-bye to comfort and security amid times that are anything but.
…mental illness, defeating family dynamics, attachment to impossible outcomes, death of loved ones, scary diagnoses, responsibilities that feel too heavy, crippling fear, private ugly tears, analysis paralysis, regret and shame, self-hatred, anger, parental guilt, secrets, lies, and…gosh, I’m only scratching the surface.
Any of these resonate? A real human’s face comes to mind for every single one of these.
There is beauty in our mutual fragility, even when we keep it hidden.
I believe the smiles we see here are genuine. Joy can exist in torment. But I know they’re only part of our stories, and that’s worth acknowledging.