09 February 2015

The Woman Inside My Head

Day after day, we're bombarded by images of the outside of others' lives. We see perfectly styled photos of other homes, perfectly airbrushed images of other women. We read stories about people who save the world by age 27 and then juggle two careers, a family of seven, and find time to sew their own wardrobe on the side. And then we turn around to look at our mess. And most of the time, it's not even hot. (Why doesn't it occur to me to just. turn. off. the computer?!? Why?)

When I get overwhelmed by all that perfect input, I revert to the perfectionist in me that says, "Well, then. If I can't do every single aspect of my life as perfectly as they are, then I might as well not even try." And then, because the sane part of me realizes that's not good to completely disengage from life, I start paying just enough attention to my life so no one notices the lack. Or so I tell myself.

Just enough that my kids and my husband don't completely feel ignored, but not enough to actually say I am investing in their lives. Just enough to maintain connections with my friends, but not enough to say I am living in true community. And please, let's not even talk about the house and the menu.

Quite honestly, there are times when giving up seems like a good plan. I stop swimming upstream toward the life I want - not the perfect life I see on my Pinterest boards - the life I am thoughtfully working toward (most of the time). The life where I'm living, not just marking time.

If I want that life, then giving up is not really an option. Eventually, I get my head out of the fog long enough to realize that comparing myself to anyone else is an exercise in futility. I don't live anyone else's life. And when I lose sight of the reason I am swimming upstream, I need to hunker down, get some rest, and start thinking about why I'm doing any of this in the first place.

“Love always perseveres.”  - The Bible

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