Is this real?
Over the past few weeks, I have asked this question a few times. Once, even, to myself.
In this social media era, it is often times difficult to tell what is actually real, compared to what people want you to believe is real.
If you choose only to share the best part of yourself with the social media world, are you lying? If you put a positive spin on things, are you really lying about what is going on? And if you DO choose to share some of the struggles you are going through, are you only looking for sympathy?
Honestly, you can’t win. No matter what, people will judge you.
A couple of years ago, a major, life altering, huge, horrible thing happened to my best friend in the whole entire world. Her husband type person died. We are far too young to need to deal with something like this. Yet, there we were. We dealt with it. We did the days in the hospital, the tears, the fear of the unknown, the memorial service. We dealt with it all.
A week ago, she and I had dinner. And I asked her the question. “Is it real?”
Because the woman that deserves all of the wonderful things in life is in the midst of getting them. 6 months ago she started dating a new fella. And, being their 6 month anniversary, all of the mushy, lovey, vomit inducing posts started. So, you wonder, is it all real? Are things really going this well?
And with a gigantic smile on her face, she tells me “yes.”
That’s all I need to know. Because let me clue you in on a little secret. Her husband type person that died, things weren’t good with them when he died. In fact, most of their relationship hadn’t been good. I knew it. Because there were times she came to visit me, that I didn’t want to let her leave.
But, when someone dies, how do you publicize that?
My pastor recently read an obituary, written by the man’s daughter. The obituary was full of brutally honest details of how horrible the man had been. That type of brutal honesty is rare.
And for my friend, it wasn’t appropriate. Yes, their relationship wasn’t good. But the grief that she felt, that she experienced, the grief was absolutely real.
Months later, she honestly exposed her heart about that grief. About the days she couldn’t get out of bed. The days she still struggled to move forward. But that day, she had taken care of herself. Forced herself to shower, and to eat.
And because I know her heart as well as anyone’s, I knew her intent was to be brutally honest with the world. She wasn’t looking for sympathy, or condolences. She was simply being honest.
One of the conversations she and I had in the midst of her grief revolved around social media, and how difficult it is to look at when you aren’t in a good place. Because everything is sugar coated. You see the best of everyone’s lives.
Looking at everyone else’s seemingly perfect lives makes the ugly green headed monster of jealousy rear its’ head. We want what all of those other people have.
So once again, is it real?
In my completely un-scientific opinion, maybe 50% is accurate. But, which 50%?
Are people completely, all out lying? Are they merely glossing over things? Are they sugar coating life for their own benefit?
Yes, yes and yes.
Maybe it’s just one of the three. Maybe it’s all three.
I honestly couldn’t tell you, because, I’m not them.
Now, let me ask you the real question.
Is that wrong?
Ultimately, the answer to that question lies in the person’s intent. If they’re intentionally lying about something to hurt others, yes that’s wrong. If they’re sugar coating something because they’re trying to make themselves feel better about a situation that isn’t all that sweet, yet isn’t doing any harm, maybe that’s ok. Maybe they’re trying to remind themselves about all of the good things that are in their life. Not to gloat. Not to rub it in your face. Maybe they’re just trying to remember and focus on the good things that they have.
Honestly, I have no idea. I could be wrong about it all.
Maybe I’m just trying to see the good in other people.
If you recall, earlier, I told you that I asked myself the “is it real” question.
Right now. Right this very second, I know that God is working on something. I’m starting to see things happening.
And in my own brain, I see how things could be working out.
But is that really God’s plan?
So while I totally understand that things aren’t always as they seem, what we perceive to be reality, really isn’t reality at all, I’m taking a step back. I’m praying. And I’m giving it all over to God.
Because right now, I have no idea….