After those middle years of ease and years of all I wanted and more than I needed, I would serenely live out the remainder of my life, watching the sunset and drinking tea by the fireplace in the cold and on the porch in the warmth. The mosquitoes would never bite, the sun would never burn, and peace would reign in my heart and thoughts. With no fears, no problems, no cause for concern--I would one day put my head on my satin pillow and sleep to wake no more without even a line from worry on my brow.
The Joneses-who lived next door--they also lived exemplary-upstanding lives and we were the best of friends--as well as our children. No cause for envy-no need for malice--we would age gracefully together with only good wishes and kind thoughts toward those who lived near. Never a cross word--nor an ill wish--we would spend long hours together relishing our friendship.
THEN I GREW UP---WHAT WAS I THINKING--WHAT PLANET DID I LIVE ON?
Life does NOT look like a fairy tale--that ship has sailed and I live in Reality Land.
OH--BUT TODAY--Today there is a new source of all is well--we all love each other--our kids are perfect--we are successful--this is a great world we live in--nothing ever goes wrong---It is called SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD!
My dear sweet friend contacted me today about the perfect world often portrayed on social media. Her world is not perfect---FAR from it. So she wonders--WHY NOT ME? All these other people have such wonderful-beautiful lives--Has God turned His back on me? It broke my heart.
My answer---we are all --as in ME TOO---guilty of using social media to give bits and pieces of our lives---all the good--NONE of the bad. We post carefully orchestrated sound bites of what we want others to think our lives look like. We become our own PR agents and HEAVEN HELP YOU if you DARE to post an unflattering picture of me!
We post those precious pictures of our children/grands for all to admire. We neglect to tell the story of the hissy fit thrown by precious while trying to get them dressed. We brag about our accomplishments-but forget to tell what we might have neglected to accomplish them, or who we might have walked over to get there. We post pictures of delicious dishes without confessing we never made them. While never admitting the day to day look of our lives, we become flashes of greatness and quick glimpses of the lovely.
So Dear Friend---take all this stuff on social media and grind it down to reality. As my counselor friend told me long ago, there are NO perfect families---perfectly messy--perfectly imperfect--perfectly wild and crazy--but NO beautiful Ozzie and Harriet families. Her words of wisdom, which I cling to today, "All families are a mess at best.". Not to say we don't love our families--not to say there are not beautiful moments--only to say---we are all messy. Either that are someone has their head stuck in the sand!
These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;