I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It’s wonderful because you can find almost anything on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter like recipes and the latest news and inspirational articles from fellow wellness websites. I like how social media has become a great tool in that sense for discovering new things that you may not have discovered as easily otherwise. However, social media has also become a bit of a curse as well. Not only because I sometimes spend hours of my time mindlessly scrolling through news feeds, but because I am easily exposed to the lives of others.
Let me explain.
Sure, it’s great to be connected to friends and family and see what’s going on in each other’s lives, but sometimes I feel like we are a bit too connected. There are no more private moments. Everything has become public and shared. You can share your location. You can share photos of what you’re doing live. You can post a status update of when your baby took it’s first steps. There are endless amounts of pictures of happy couples – almost too many photos of them kissing and posting about what they are doing on their Friday nights and instagramming photos of their five-star restaurant steak dinners and glasses of wine. I’m not hating on anyone. It’s all good. You like to express your love and happiness and I’m definitely happy for you.
It has become almost too easy to share the on-goings of your personal life and I think because we have become a generation that shares just about everything, it is causing a bit of underlying competition and general sense of fear of missing out. At least it has been for me. But I’m sure many of you would agree, because what happens is we see the lives of others and we start to measure up our own lives to what we “see” is going on in theirs. We see that they are getting engaged, or married, or having a baby and frankly…we’re not. How do you think that’s making us feel as a person? Obviously it’s bringing up some feelings of envy. We start to look deeper within ourselves and wonder, what is wrong with our lives? Why aren’t we married yet? Why don’t we have kids? Why don’t we have a cool job or drive a cool car like THEY do?
It’s honestly an unhealthy mind trap that we set ourselves in. And we’re all guilty of it. Whether we do it consciously or subconsciously, we are all competing against other people’s news feeds. We want to have the most “interesting” life. So then we get all depressed when we don’t and start to dwell into the past of what we could’ve done differently and what lives we could’ve been leading right now if we had gone down different paths instead.
This is kind of where I was at today and the reason for my post. I caught myself scrolling through my Facebook and looking at friend’s profiles from high school that I haven’t seen in years and I saw how their lives were turning out. How they had either gotten married and were beginning to have kids or how they were newly engaged or how their careers were taking off. I started to feel sorry for my own life, even though technically my life isn’t all that bad. I do have plenty of accomplishments under my belt. But my mind did start to wander, especially about my past choices.
I began to think about my ex. I started to wonder whether it was right for me to rush my decision to break up. I mean we were together for 8 years. So it was a BIG decision to leave. But I ask myself, what would have happened if I was more patient and decided to stay? Would we have eventually fixed our issues and become happy again? Would we have gotten married, had children of our own, and the house of our dreams? What if? What if? But then I began to realize that every decision we do make always has a reason behind it, and in most cases, we decided on those decisions for a good reason.
Sure, I might have had a different life than I do now, but that statement is true with any decision I make from this point on. Every decision leads to another path and takes you a little bit further down the road of life. Tomorrow I may make a decision to quit my job and get a new one and that could lead me down an entirely different path. Or what my current relationship suddenly ended, and I was forced to be single again and find someone new? My life would be completely altered once more. Every single choice is important. But must also not dwell on our past choices either. There will always be a million different scenarios for how our lives could’ve have turned, but we are obviously choosing the path that is right for us RIGHT NOW. And that’s what really matters.
THE PRESENT MOMENT.
Because that is where we are right now. We’re not in the past so we obviously can’t go back and do things differently. And we’re not in the future so we can’t rearrange everything to make things better for then. We have to just focus on the present moment and enjoy what our lives are like right now. We have to look for what we do have rather than what we don’t or what we could’ve had.
Sure, there will always be times where we didn’t know any better and maybe we didn’t make the best choice at that moment, but we should still not beat ourselves up for it. We must learn to accept our choices and find happiness within them. They were obviously made for a reason because at that moment in time we made the best decision we could have made with the knowledge that we had at the time. And that’s all we can really do.
So when you begin to start feeling like you’re missing out on something or you begin to regret past decisions and wonder if you truly made the right choice, just stop yourself. You did make the right choice. And if that choice isn’t what you want now, then make a different one. You can always choose differently and keep moving forward towards other paths. If you’re not happy right now, then make a choice that will bring you closer to happiness, even if it’s just a small baby step.
And that pesky little fear of missing out on things, don’t worry so much. Your time will come. (I’m saying this to myself too – mind you!) Everything in life is about timing in the end. And the things we experience happen to us always when they are supposed to, I truly believe in that. Sometimes they may not be what we WANT to be experiencing but when we look back, we will see how it’s exactly what we needed to be experiencing at the time.
Maybe right now you’re single because you need to be focusing more on learning how to love yourself. Maybe you’re not having kids right now because you need to be focusing more on creating a better bond in your relationship. Maybe you haven’t gotten that promotion just yet because you need to be building more skills and gaining more knowledge. There is always some reason behind everything, but you will get there. And if you don’t get exactly what you want, you may get something even better that you just don’t know about yet.
I long for a family. For getting married. For having a house. Those are my dreams. But even if other friends have it all before me, it’s ok. I’m happy for them. Because it’s their time right now and I don’t want to rush the timing of my own life. My goal is to enjoy my life right now. To stay in that present moment and to make the best out of it. I don’t want to linger in the past anymore, thinking about what life I could’ve had if I had done things differently. I want to be excited about my present life that I already have and the many blessings that I already have now. I want to be excited about the unknown future that is to come and I want to carry that sense of mystery with peace and contentment, rather than fear and worry – because we shouldn’t live our lives in a state of regret or anxiety, simply because of the plans we think should be happening to us now.
The Self Love Challenge: Enjoy the present moment.
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