Nobody's life is perfect
You know… it still confuses me that what I see can be so deceiving. Like sometimes people, in the chase of perfection, present things as if they were just that and I get caught up in it, forgetting that they live in the same imperfect world as I do and are just as human as I am. And at other times, I add layers of fantasy to reality and then get sad that my life doesn't mimic the life that I just mentally created (why do I do this??? Like I have the answer - the deep desire for God - but seriously... why!?).
It seems that we as humans are so prone to stopping at the surface of what we see. We see popularity and think it must be pure happiness. We see glorified body types and become certain that this too has nothing but good vibes. We see happy family photos on Instagram and feel like it's perfection. We fantasize about fairytale relationships and think that an endless flow of happy exists there too. We look towards those with status and know for sure that they are fulfilled, fully satisfied with their life and struggle no more.
Yes, there may very well be authentic joy in each scenario but what we are often the struggle-free version of the full picture. How do we know what the popular girl had to go through in order to smile again after her mother died? Are we aware of all of the sacrifices the trainer had to make in order to look like he does? Do we have any idea how much marital or family counseling went into those cute family photos or #couplegoals photo? Have we inquired about the hours upon hours of hard work that went behind the promotion?
And you know what? Maybe the popular kid feels just as lonely as you do, the body "inspiration" girl just as insecure as you do, your boss at work just as confused with his life as you feel; maybe the family is just as dysfunctional as yours and the romantic relationship as close to the end as yours.
Maybe the people we see are just like us - doing their best to live a life of meaning and purpose and falling short very often. We are much more alike than we could ever imagine but sometimes, the surface-level differences and the incredible struggle to be vulnerable get in the way. The irony of the inability to get vulnerable is that sometimes our behavior, such as our tendency to gossip, discourages people from being vulnerable, and hence the need for perfection lives on.
Anyways, rather than focusing on what is visible to others, zoom in on what is deeper. Go for the climb... as cheesy as that sounds.
In all of the situations I mentioned above, there are deeper, more lasting successes that can come from each case. For example, rather than trying to have as many friends as possible, a picture-perfect family, and a flawless partner, we can strive to develop an open and honest pathway of communication that will allow true intimacy to gradually develop over time while accepting the little bumps along the way (note that abuse is not a "little bump", it is unacceptable in any measure).
To continue, an alternative to having an unreasonably low and unhealthy body weight, is to learn to treat our bodies with love by choosing energizing foods and allowing them to move, and rest, in ways that are actually good for us (while still enjoying yummy food!). We can learn to look at our bodies with an appreciation for what they can do rather than looking at them in horror and hatred for what they're apparently not.
And still, instead of seeking a title at work, we can strive to develop a good work ethic and focus on personal and professional development from which we can advance, whether in one company or in another.
My call to us is to dive into the depth of the ocean, to focus on the journey. Celebrate the accomplishments and keep going! To reminder ourselves that nobody's life is perfect, no matter what it seems to be like. Put truth into what you see.
And let's not forget that the grass is greener wherever we water it, so go water your grass!