My son has this amazing little friend at school and my husband and I have been fortunate enough to befriend his parents as well. They are phenomenal people. They’ve been together as long as my husband and I have been together, they are also high school sweethearts, and their love shows in everything they do. I know anyone can say there’s a performance behind it or anyone can make all the pictures look good—or even that there are no pictures of the bad moments. That’s all true. But seeing how other people live and the lives they make together, the things they do together, the ideas they share together and what they invest in together to make it work sometimes hits a sore spot when you feel a lack of something. I’m the first to admit that I feel such a lack in myself. I see all the things I wanted and some I didn’t know I wanted played out right in front of me and it hurts. It feels like such a waste. I see the joy in their lives, the way they allowed life to happen and I feel a strangle hold on myself for not living.
One of the first things they say in self-healing work is to stop comparing. Don’t compare at all, especially your chapter one with someone’s chapter 20. I tend to jump ahead a lot. I also have expectations, like, we’ve been together the same amount of time, why aren’t we in the same place? The truth is, I can’t see all the work that went into their lives in a highlight reel. I can’t see the moments that weren’t captured because they aren’t shown—it doesn’t mean they weren’t there. Same goes for us. I’m going through a really messy season right now and I’m struggling to figure out what it even means. But I know this isn’t a conducive time to ask why. It is, however, a time to realize some of those fundamentals. How did they make it work? How did it happen? And to appreciate what I CAN see as an example of what I want. Some clarity. Things happen for a reason. It isn’t to show you that something is “wrong.” Sometimes it’s to show you that you’re on the right path. It’s a window to what CAN be. That, my friends, is hope.
When it comes to living, we all need hope. We need belief and we need to know that things change and it always works out. Just because it doesn’t look a certain way doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Sometimes it’s just about identifying where you’re at and where you want to be. Sometimes it’s about frequency and adjusting and others it’s about standing firm. It’s all a dance. It’s appreciating and celebrating the beauty and working through the muck. It’s about not getting hung up on a choice, it’s about making the best of it. It’s about understanding it’s not what the image looks like in the end, it’s about recognizing there was work and things can always work if you put in the time and effort. Most importantly, it’s knowing who you are and your worth. Because when you know who you are, you know what works and what doesn’t and that means you know your direction and can see when someone isn’t on that path. Knowing who you are is key. When you know who you are, the rest falls in to place.