At some point in life, we will all need to see and hear that it’s okay to not be okay. As we navigate through this age of social media, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the idea that life has to be perfect. Social media has allowed people to create these alternate realities. We see people on Instagram and Facebook and their lives are together. They have the cutest clothes, and their hair is always laid. Their kids are making honor roll. Their husbands are sending them flowers. They’re getting promoted on their jobs. And on top of all that, their skin is clear and they’re losing weight.
Meanwhile, you feel frumpy and unkempt. You just left a parent teacher conference at the school because they’re about to suspend your child. You can barely get your husband to take out the trash without pitching a fit first…let alone send you flowers. Your bank account has $3.11, and you’ve got just enough gas and groceries to make it to pay day. And that weight that your social media friends are losing, you’re the one that found it. You are not okay. But guess what Sis…that’s okay.
What I’ve learned is people show us the lives that they want us to see. We’re getting the highlights just like we do with movie trailers. They post their fairy tale weddings, but they don’t let us in on the fact that they’re living in unhappy marriages. We see them post delicious dinners, but they don’t show us the meal that they burned the night before. And truth be told, that clear skin we’re so envious of is often due to the favor of filters.
Sis, you are not okay, and that’s okay. I saw something on Facebook the other day that described my life perfectly: I’m happy, hurting, and healing all at the same time. If you’re honest, perhaps you are as well. LIFE IS HARD. I can’t say that enough. As women, we wear a lot of hats. We’re mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, aunts, mentors, play mamas and sister-friends. We’re leaders in our homes, in our churches, and on our jobs. Many of us are broken, battered, and bruised…literally and figuratively. We are hurting physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. We’ve lost our faith and our purpose. But we dare not say that. We dare not let people know that we don’t have it together because they’ll judge us or talk about us.
The irony of it all is that they aren’t okay either. They’ve got their own issues and problems that they’re sorting through. If we’re honest, the pressures of life are wearing most of us down, but we press on. We press on because that’s how we’re built. We press on because people need us. Take it from me though Sis, you can’t pour from an empty glass. I’ve tried. I’ve smiled when I wasn’t happy. I’ve said I was okay when I should’ve admitted to being broken, lonely, afraid, or helpless. Sis, it’s okay to say you’re not okay. In fact, if more of us did it, perhaps it wouldn’t be so hard to do.