Real-life is messy and it’s a continuous journey of falling and learning.
It certainly is not photo-worthy all the time and it can’t be staged before the click of the camera.
It’s an almost daily struggle with ourselves while managing relationships with others, be it our spouses, children, or friends and co-workers.
It’s days of struggling as a mother, wondering if I did enough for the kids, and having the occasional fights with the spouse due to us being in it together.
It’s having insecurity and self-doubt about my own capabilities, on an almost regular basis.
It’s the reality of family problems and differing expectations towards each other.
It’s photos of kids smiling and then one minute later they are crying and arguing over who gets possession of the last cheerio or getting punished to the time-out corner for being mean to their siblings.
It’s bad news of illnesses affecting family and close ones or realizing that our parents are aging faster than we think.
Its sinus infections and dealing with frequent constipation and migraines and realizing we are not as invincible as we thought we were 10 years ago.
It’s weight gain and stretch marks after childbirth followed by judging ourselves in the mirror.
For others, it may be infertility and miscarriages, or divorces and the ending of relationships.
For some parents, it may be coping with diagnoses of learning difficulties or autism in kids and the fear of the future for their special needs kids.
It may be pressure at work and dealing with difficult bosses and 60-hour work weeks.
While outside its seeing images of rampant poverty and encounters with beggars around the corner of the street.
All the while trying to cope with the news of wars and climate change and actively working our way through the day to make something of ourselves.
Frankly, there are times when we don’t really feel like smiling but we do so to make others feel better, or not to draw attention to ourselves.
When it passes we keep tabs on what we learned and rethink how to do things better, hopefully.
Then through all the noise, we look at our phones at pretty images of beauty, health, and wealth, which feels so far away from where we are.
The thing is, it is okay and normal to struggle and to take the time to find your place and balance wherever you are.
Things are not perfect and you do not have to be either, but we try and try and maybe get a little traction on our journey over time.
So maybe we can reveal bits of our struggles instead and keep the ideal pretty photos for another day.
Because then we can make others feel that they are not alone and we all have hurts and grieve in our own way.
And when we recover and progress up the pyramid steps to self-actualization, then we can hand out more of our resources to support others who are lower down on the ladder.
Maybe then we can have some influence on changing our society when we used to think our hands were too small to reach anyone or do anything.