Never before, in the history of the world, have we had such easy access to so much fodder for the imagination, the mind, the emotions--at the click of a button. With one post on Facebook, we make ourselves vulnerable to a plethora of emotions.
We hope that people will 'like' it--then we find ourselves noticing just how many people 'like' it.
Then we notice that maybe, certain people that we wanted to 'like' it, didn't. Is there something wrong with it, then?
Then, we notice that a friend got at least twenty more 'likes' on a far inferior post (in our own opinions, of course). Why?
People don't like me as much?
Or worse--nobody 'likes' the post at all. What then? Rejection.
As I browse through various blogs, Pinterest accounts, articles, people's Facebook statuses or photos, I find myself...unconsciously comparing.
It's just a brief moment, then it's gone.
Then it comes back stronger in the next comparison.
Then the next.
Then the next.
Soon, I find myself unhappy with my life. Unhappy with what I'm doing. And I can't put my finger on why.
"I feel like it's not enough."
"I feel like I need to do more."
"I feel like what I do is inferior."
"I feel like I'm not doing it right."
And the emotions roll on.
I have compared myself to the life of others. What's worse.
The life of others as seen online.
It is an impossible standard, my beloved readers. What's more, a platform that I see tragically abused.
I have witness with my own eyes, bloggers that write precious words about the Lord Jesus on their blogs--words about their lives and how well they are living, how humble they are before the Lord...
On the web, they have an idyllic life. It doesn't mean that they all are living the American Dream. On the contrary, some people even use this as a platform--to talk about how humble they are.
On the web, they have perfect hearts. Nobody struggles (for real). Nobody sees pain (for real).
If they do, they only write about how 'they' pushed through.
And I sit back, as the reader.
Am I the only one struggling here? Am I the only one in pain?
Am I the only one that hasn't found that permanent solution that keeps me from ever feeling anything negative?
Because I'll admit to some of the above.
I'll admit that I never want to write about my struggles, because I don't want to admit I'm weak. Weak, for real.
I'll admit that I only like to write about the good things that happen, because I don't want anyone to think badly of me.
I'll admit that my life often doesn't match up with what I write, that soon after I hit 'publish' on a post, that I end up losing my temper with a sibling.
I'll admit it.
I'm a hypocrite. And I'm contributing to the worldwide epidemic of depression caused by internet perfection pressures.
What will I do about it? First, ask you to forgive me.
Will you do that? I'm sorry for any pain I have caused you. Any feeling of inferiority. Any thought of comparison that would steal your joy. For the cause of making myself feel better, for making myself look good 'online'.
I find myself not writing as much through the trials, because I fear writing something I'll regret. Something that may make me look *gasp* like I'm fallen, like I'm broken, like I need a Savior.
I'm here to make a change.
And begin my confessions. Real confessions.
I already started above, but really, I'm a real person just like you.
I struggle everyday. And not just with those deep spiritual struggles that I so eloquently write about so often.
I struggle with being patient with my brothers and sisters.
With not losing my temper. Over stupid things. Like when someone asks me a dumb question. Or, dumb in my mind. -_-
I struggle with not complaining. With not talking through my irritations.
I get upset when my mental routine gets jarred. If someone spontaneously asks me to do something, I almost feel crippled--I hadn't planned for that!
I waste time on Pinterest. Like, really, I'm not being facetious. I try to mostly use Pinterest for writing, but more often than I'd like I end up browsing Star Wars fandom pins, or something of some such frivolity.
I drink too much coffee. For real, I will feel my blood racing through my veins. Sometimes it makes me nervous and upset. But I don't want to cut back.
I'm afraid of failing. Not just like normal people are afraid. I'm petrified of failing. To the point where it keeps me from even starting projects.
I never blog consistently. (But you all knew that. ;P) But sometimes I don't even reread my blog posts. O_O
I sometimes go months without writing in my journal.
I went years without writing any sort of stories or novels...even when I had ideas. Because I was too lazy and too much of a perfectionist to get them done.
I hate cleaning the bathtub. Or the toilet. And doing dishes. Blllleeeeeecccccchhhhhhh...
I keep starting to read certain books and never finishing them--even as much as I love them, and as much as I love to read... *Cough* Desiring God *cough*!
I am too sarcastic.
You're not alone, my beloved reader. I haven't even scratched the surface.
But the facade is over. And I challenge you to do the same.
On whatever platform that you may have, in whatever way that you interact with others online or otherwise. We all need to know that we're not alone. Stop taking ourselves so seriously.
Be real. Write real. Post real.
We would have no need of a Savior if we were not fallen. We would have no need of a Perfector if we were not flawed. We would have no relish for heaven, if our lives were already heavenly. We would have no need of grace if we were not weak.
We would have no need of faith if we did not live on the edge.
I'm still afraid of looking weak. I'm afraid of people judging me. I'm afraid of what people think of me.
But it's because of the grace of Jesus that I don't have to be. That I can be bold and honest. That I can share my struggles, my weaknesses, my faults, and have no fear.
Because in sharing, we strengthen one another, encourage one another--remind each other of the overwhelming power of the grace of Jesus.
Hello, my lovely readers, do I have a treat for you!
Most of you know that I am passionate about honoring God in the way that I dress. I want to honor God by not only sufficiently covering my body, but in choosing stylish, fashionable, and tasteful apparel.
I like to view fashion in both jewelry and apparel as art. Art in which I represent the Lord and His excellence and beauty! As His representative on the earth, I want others to look at me and remark at the excellence in which I present myself, glorify my Father who is in heaven.
With that in mind, when I found Set Free Apparel, I knew I'd stumbled across a little jewel!
I was looking for something comfortable, but stylish--and loved all the styles I found on the shop!
"I wanted to design men'sand women's Christian clothing that not only communicated the principles, ideas and truth of our faith in a creative way, but clothing that was also clean, contemporary and stylish. A fresh alternative and fashionable option for Christ followers....
All that said, it's much more than selling cool Christian shirts, I also desired to use my talent and ability for something greater; the Kingdom. A portion of our profit will go directly to Food for the Hungry.Click hereto learn a little bit more about what God is doing through them.
We are a family owned and operated boutique. We very much hope you like our clothing. And if you do, please spread the word by socializing with others about us!"
~from Set Free Apparel's founder, Nick
Set Free Apparel was incredibly generous and sent me one of my favorite shirts to review for you all!(And stick around, and there just might be a giveaway too!) ;-)
I usually wear a size XS in Womens or a M or L in Juniors. I found the M from Set Free Apparel fit me perfectly!
I was so happy to see that it was a v-neck tee that I didn't have to wear a tank top with! I'm so used to having to layer my tops, it was so refreshing to be able to wear my favorite cut (v-neck), but it's neckline was nice and high enough that I didn't have to supplement it.
The fit was perfect--not too tight, but still not boxy.
Super soft and comfy--the 100% cotton knit felt thick and well made. I have no fears of wearing it out too soon!
All that said, check out Set Free Apparel's Etsy Shop and follow the steps below to win a $15 gift certificate so that you can get a t-shirt of your very own!