Now that the holiday season is almost over, it is time for a reality check.
The holidays are a stressful time for so many people. The desire to make others happy, to live up to expectations of others, to “post” a perfect holiday. I know I am guilty of it all. I used to kill myself to make it all look and seem perfect. I still post a few photos of my family that “look” good on the surface.
We have spent months subject to advertisements about giving cars and diamonds.  Endless social media posts that are carefully curated to present the “perfect” holiday. And countless sales attempting to get us to spend more than we have.
Consumerism is at its finest this time of year. Again, I am guilty. We all want the “perfect holiday.” We want to be “Pintrest worthy.” We want to post that “perfect” photo that gets all the comments and likes. We want the validation that we are doing it “right.”
I admit that I am and have been guilty of this. However, I no longer live for that “post.” We need a reality check.
How much do you know about that “perfect” family/person that you are following? What is the reality behind it all? I know that personally I tried for years to make my imperfect, controlled, abuse filled life look good. No one knew my reality…..because I would not allow it.
We like, comment and further validate each others seemingly perfect lives and thus further perpetuating the idea that appearances are reality. Thus is as far from the truth as possible.
I had a friend post some photos Christmas morning without the matching jammies, makeup and styled hair. It was glorious!  I loved her vulnerability and transparency. It was a refreshing breath of fresh air on an otherwise sickeningly sweet holiday morning feed. We are all imperfect in some way. Should we air all our crap on social media? No. But should we cover it all up thus invalidating thuse that feel anything other than perfectly happy during the holidays? HELL NO!
For years families have covered up, whispered about or just not spoken about things such as mental illness, abuse, inappropriate sexual behavior, infidelity, alcoholism…the list is endless. We have allowed racism, homophobia, ignorance and all sorts of other morally corrupt behavior to run rampant because we are afraid to speak up. We want the Norman Rockwell holiday and family.
Well, that is not possible. It is time we got real with each other. It is time we talk about the tough stuff and allow  ourselves and each other some grace. Will some people be uncomfortable and walk away? Sure. But from my experience, people are longing for reality. People are longing for connection to not only their joy but connection in their imperfection, grief and sadness. We need more reality. Not more gossip but honest conversation about the realities of our lives.
What if people start having those conversations with friends, setting boundaries with families,  and getting real with themselves? How would things change? I think we all need a reality check this coming year. Stop trying to do it alone. Stop trying yo impress others with your pretty pictures. Stop living in fear.  Make 2020 the year to see and be seen…..make 2020 the year to be real.

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