If you spend any time at all on Facebook, you will see beautiful happy couples, moms and their sweet children, pets with playful happy lives and DIY projects that look way better than anything I’ve ever made out of toilet paper tubes! Beautifully prepared recipes and stories that make you cry.
My Favorite Facebook Cat – Oscar – who of course never makes a mess at my house!
Why is Facebook so powerful? Because we can share the pictures of life that we want to be our reality. We can show the glimpses of life that look wonderful and gloss over the tough times. Times when we aren’t getting along in our marriage. Times when we are really frustrated with our darling children. Times when the cat throws up on the carpet. Wait! Did I just tell you that?! Times when my life doesn’t match the pictures other people post on their wall? Sometimes I look for pictures on my camera roll just to post to Facebook because I’m trying to hold my life together. I want my marriage to look happy and strong even when we are facing challenges. I want people to see me smiling with my kids even though my arms are empty and my house is quiet because my kids have grown up and I only see them once in a while.
Life has become so much more complicated than just keeping up with the Joneses down the street. Now it’s the 700 (or more) “friends” I’m comparing my life to and trying to make it seem as good or better!
So how do I balance the reality of life with the rosy glassed view on Facebook? We all have beautiful moments in our real lives. Sometimes these moments are more frequent than other times, but the more I look for the beautiful moments in my own life rather than comparing my ugly or blah moments with the beautiful moments of others, I find more beautiful moments in my life.
Painted Hills – John Day Fossil Bed National Monument
I recently heard an interview on TV between a reporter and a celebrity. The celebrity had had years and years of successes and in everyone’s eye, their life had been nearly perfect. But when the reporter asked the celebrity what comments had had the most influence on her life, she said that early on in her life, someone had reported some negative things about her and that had stayed with her the rest of her life. So often our brains latch onto the negative or the “less than” comments and feelings and they can easily turn into something that define us if we allow it.
Focusing on the positive and happy things in our own life can actually change our brain patterns. The more we look for our positives, the more we will see. Some of this is because of a change in our attitude, but it is also in partly because of our focus. The more we look for good, the more we see.
So, as I scroll through my friends’ pictures on Facebook, I have changed my attitude. I am happy for the happy moments in my friends’ lives and try to remember that these are moments they are sharing. We all have happy moments. My friends also have bad days just like I do. Their kids get sick, they have a tough time paying the bills, they get frustrated with situations in life too. The happily ever after is truly a fairy tale. Yes, we can be happy ever after, but there will be sad times and challenging times too.
If I take a few minutes to scroll through my own timeline, I see those same happy moments and I’m thankful that those moments are more than just moments. The pictures in my timeline show my special times with family, friends, pets, excitement, joys, tears and life. They show relationships that are more than moments. They show love, security, and happiness.
Puget Sound overlook from Orcas Island, Washington
Today, I would like to challenge you to take some time to look through the Facebook scrapbook of YOUR life and focus on the happy memories, the blessings, the loves that you have in your life. Then take a few moments to be thankful for the happy moments in your friends’ lives. Life is too short to live a life of comparison or regret. Take a moment right now to be grateful for a moment in your life.
Drop a comment and tell me about a happy moment in your “Facebook life.” I’d love to hear about it.