Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke & mirrors, trickery & deception...Facebook. All ways to distort or blur the facts, something that is intended to make you believe something is being done or true when it's not.
The most unflattering picture of me-ever!
 I was attempting to take a picture of
Ted & the dogs, my camera was
the wrong way!
I'd never share this on
Facebook...or would I?

If Facebook is supposed to be full of our family and friends why aren't we authentic and genuine?  Yesterday, I was a last minute invite to the American Heart Association Go Red Luncheon.  While that may not be a big deal to most people it was HUGE for me.  I'm calendar driven and I rarely do things on impulse.   But for years I've seen pictures of people I know in attendance and my inner teenager really wanted to go hang out with the cool kids so of course I said yes. I immediately knew what I'd wear and headed out the door like a love sick teenager!

It was an expo, geared to all things for womens heart health!  Heart disease is the #1 killer of women!!!  Here we were, adult women who like hungry,  greedy for more-more-more, I've got the galloping gimmees kids in the Bernstein Bears book-we picked up a bag and made the rounds to the tables.  Scribbling our names and numbers in hopes of winning a massage,  a yoga mat or some exercise equipment.  With false eyelashes and bright red lipstick in place we gathered pieces of chocolate,  stress squeezies  and other freebies that left me wondering why will we (society collectively) pick anything up for free???  Even things we'll never need or use? By the way a HUGE thank you to the sponsors yesterday, anything I don't use will be taken to the Women's Crisis Center in Rogers.

But I digress.  At the 15th Anniversary Go Red for Women luncheon I was blessed to hear Dr. Phil.  (Yes, I just typed that-never would I have ever imagined I'd be typing that I was blessed by Dr. Phil.) He spoke of how one year from today, he could GUARANTEE that our life would be better OR worse...our choice.  He then touched on something are you doing with your life today what you want to be doing or are you doing it because it's what you did yesterday?  Were you doing what you did yesterday because it's what you did the day before...not beause it's what you choose to do but because you've accepted it-not what you want to do or what you're meant to do but you do it because it's just what you do??  We generate the results in life that we believe we deserve-so if we feel we're not worthy or have a low self esteem, we generate results that go along with it AND we model it for our kids and they'll accept a "less than" life.  He spoke of the image we want to convey and how we should dress it, live it, own it.  (While wearing my funky red glasses, an exciting red dress, leggings and my 2019 Pride Converse with rainbow lades, I felt that my outside was very accurately portraying my inside.)  Again, we all make a statement and we teach others how to treat us based on that statement.  What do you believe you deserve?  If you're damaged then you need to fix it, the statement you show (consciously or subconsciously) is VERY cleary to other people.

Smoke and mirrors.
Trickery and deception.

We're all guilty.  Even when we're not conscious of our attempts to deceive our friends and family we're doing it!  We post about our victories, our personal wins.  We share about our kids high score or winning soccer goal while leaving out the hours spent arguing about studying or the tutor that costs as much as a mortgage or how much we hate spending hours at the soccer field, or maybe our kid hates it too but we keep on because it's what we are supposed to do.  We want to give the appearance of living a flawless life with no struggles but life is just not that way!!!

Yesterday I felt good about myself, really good.  I thought to myself-I should take a picture of myself because it would make a great new profile picture.  Yes.  I was actually planning a Facebook profile picture in my mind and how fabulous I'd look.  Then I saw the picture taken with my friend at a photo-op set up at the event.  It was a great picture all right-I definitely look like I've given birth to three children and not been to the gym in way too long...if ever.  There it was on Facebook for all to see in all my glory! HA!  Jokes on ya'll...I didn't beat myself up.  I looked at that picture and saw a mom who did give birth to three of the best kids you can imagine (they fight, they are sometimes mean to each other but they also forgive on another freely and generously.)  I see my favorite glasses and my Converse that are my little symbol that "I love you" just the way you are. I see my slightly ecclectic, whimsical self. a woman who loves deeply and genuinely.  A woman who sometimes feels like her world is swirling down the proverbial toilet because she is terrified that her future holds demons that can't be slain and that she's not a good enough wife, mom, daughter or friend.  A woman who sometimes cries in her bathroom, and at night in the dark when everyone else is asleep but by golly give me a few and I'll wear that mask with a smile.

I came away yesterday wondering, really-really wondering what do people see?  What image do I portray?  My real image-not the smoke & mirrors, no trickery or deception, no Facebook perfection.  Who am I?

Am I strong, confident and capable or am I just frustrated, exhausted and overwhelmed?  
Am I kind, loving and generous or am I just selfish, cynical and superior?
Is my life and family perfect? Are we actually flawed beyond belief?

Every one of those things is true, just not all at the same time.  Some days I'm broken beyond belief, we all have demons from our past or even present that creep up and bite us when we least suspect it.  I can be generous but I can also be selfish.  My family is perfect for ME but we are actually flawed (we all are you know).  I know who I want to be, I want you to know the real me.  I want you to know the real me, I'm going to use that awful selfie for my profile picture you know why?  BECAUSE IT IS ME! Perfectly imperfect, able to laugh at myself and allow you to laugh at me.  Laugh with me, cry with me, walk beside me, be real with me and I'll be real with you-we can put down the smoke and mirrors because none of us are perfect.  In one year, May 22, 2020 my life is going to be better.  I'm going to make choices to send me that direction and I'm going to QUIT doing what I did yesterday just because it's what I've always done.  I'm moving forward one crazy blessed step at a time.  Thank you Jessica for inviting me to table 54!  Thank you Debbie Alsup, Paris Presents for sponsoring the table where I was seated-it may be small to some but going yesterday was a thing I've wanted to do for years; you've got a wonderful tribe of co-workers and friends (Lisa, Missy and Kathleen)!
I actually did look pretty good yesterday!

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