“One of the reasons that we deal with insecurity is that we compare our behind-the-scenes with someone else’s highlight reel.” ~Steven Furtick
I saw this quote on a friend’s Facebook page a couple weeks ago, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. I am incredibly guilty of making this mistake. I will hear about a friend’s fabulous career and rather than feeling glad for her, I’m annoyed. Oh, sure. I’ll act pleasant enough about it on the outside, but inside I’m full of doubt. How did she end up with such a fabulous life while mine is so, well, dull? I’ll feel cheated that she gets to travel for work while my biggest excursions are my tri-weekly trips to Target.
It’s sick how these thoughts can permeate my life and make me feel worthless. The truth is that I have no idea of the inner workings of my friend’s life, of how she balances extended hours at work with time for her family. For all I know, perhaps she sees my freedom and the extra time I get to spend with my kids as the better deal. Don’t we always want what we don’t have and don’t truly understand?
“Why, oh why, do I look to the other side when I know the grass is greener but just as hard to mow.” ~ John Butler Trio
This is the curse of a Facebook world. As busy as we all are, sometimes the most we see about a friend’s life comes from their Facebook status updates. Facebook is a repository for the highlights reel in our lives. We post about the exciting things we are experiencing because we want to share our best with everyone. We don’t often post about our depression or about how exhausted we are from trying to have it all. What is displayed, instead, is a group of photos from a summer trip to Italy and, from that alone, we allow others to formulate an opinion about our life, one that most likely does not reflect our daily reality.
When I get overwhelmed by the comparisons my mind wants to make between my prosaic, behind-the-scenes reel and someone else’s exciting highlights reel, I try to remember that Facebook is filled with façades. We retouch our lives the way we retouch our photos.
I have a great life and I’m sure there are those who see my highlights reel, the things I post on Facebook, and think I’ve got it made. And, it would be stupid not to admit that my life is pretty great. Like others, I do mask my difficulties more often than I share them. I do look over into other people’s yards and wish, occasionally, for something greener and more lush. Deep down I know, however, that all grass is the same. We all fight weeds and have to water constantly to keep it healthy. That friend whose life seems idyllic? Remember that there is only one reason their yard looks so lush and green. It’s artificial turf.