Editing Your Life

Today I decided to add a more detailed “About Me” section to the blog and while doing so started thinking about the interesting ways we edit our lives for people. When I share something here on the blog or on Facebook I only share what I want people to see and know–the funny stories, the deep thoughts, the best pictures. I don’t tell people the stuff about me and my life that I don’t want them to know. I don’t post the pictures that are unflattering, or heaven forbid me without makeup. Nope, it’s just the good stuff. If my life were just the stuff I present here on the blog and on Facebook, then it would appear that life is pretty perfect. I mean, I have this great husband, I live in this beautiful place, we go do fun exciting things together, I have a great job and lots of independence–life is perfect–or is it?

I really can’t complain about life, that much is true, but it’s certainly not all quiet dates and exciting adventures; most of the time it’s doing the laundry and sitting in an office working. It’s dotted with excitement and the dots are the parts you see. You don’t see me when I roll out of bed in the morning looking like a sea monster, you don’t see me when I’m having a bad attitude because I didn’t get what I wanted or because I’m just in a bad mood. I never make my Facebook status something like, “Just said something hurtful to the husband because I’m self-absorbed and don’t care if I hurt him” even though that’s exactly the truth far too often.

What I tell you about myself is true but it’s not all the truth; it’s the edited version–the version I want you to see.

I think with all the social networking we do these days, it’s more important than ever to remember just how much our lives are edited. If we don’t remember this then we might look at other people’s lives and envy how perfect it all seems. We might think someone else’s life is so beautiful and happy and full of excitement and mine is full of dirty dishes, crying babies, or long days at the office. Instead of seeing the simple beauty of my own life and realizing that all I have is a gift from God, I might start wanting what someone else has–and never even realize that what they have is only a small part of the story–the part of the story they let me see and nothing of the hurt, sadness, or monotony that is kept tidy and quiet away from the world of Facebook.

There is a girl in my life that intimidates the heck out of me. She is beautiful and charming and everyone loves being around her. I look at her sometimes and feel like a complete loser. I feel like I will never be as put together and wonderful as she is. I’ll never curl my hair every day or always show up in high heels looking amazing like amazing just follows me around. Nope, I’ll be the dorky girl with the ponytail and boat shoes because that is the extent of my fashion ambition. My inner monologue is horrifying when I’m around her. But then on days like today I remind myself that I’ve only seen her in public when all is well and she is in her best clothes. I haven’t seen her when she’s only with the people who know her best and she feels safe letting her guard down. I haven’t seen her flaws because she isn’t showing them to me. If she doesn’t have any flaws then I will poke my eyes out but for now I’m just going to assume that she is actually as imperfect as the rest of us and is just good at editing the bad stuff out in public. I can’t be her–and truth be told, if I saw the whole picture, I probably wouldn’t want to be.

9 thoughts on “Editing Your Life

  1. “What I tell you about myself is true but it’s not all the truth; it’s the edited version–the version I want you to see.”

    I read this over and over and over- then I read it out loud to my husband and son- then I read it again.

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  2. Kari,
    I am sitting here with tears in my eyes after reading your blog. I know what you are talking about but as hard as I try tonight I cannot stop thinking about how can I be so lonely with all these people around me.I am not editing anything out now, I am bearing my soul to you. I hurt inside, I just want to lay down and bawl until I can’t shed another tear. And the sad thing is I don’t know why.I have so much to be thankful for, what’s wrong with me? I spent the day with two of my wonderful friends from church. We laughed and had a great time. We don’t make any pretense with each other, we are what we are, warts and all. I came home to a family who loves me and were glad I was home. I talked to Cheryl and you know how we are with each other, And yet there is something missing in my life, how can this be after a year has gone by? I miss his arms around me I miss his body keeping me warm at night. I miss his laughter and his teasing, I miss everything about him. I’ve tried to convince myself I’m fine and I do a good job of fooling other people when I put on my other self. The edited one. The one I present to the outside world, they can’t see the hurt inside of me. I won’t let them. “How are you doing today?” “Why I’m doing great, how about you?” And then I smile and go on my way. Would it really be so hard to say I’m hurting inside, but that’s not accectable in the world we live in, the edited world. But at the end of the day I remember that GOD is in control and yes one day I will reunited with the one I love. And when I step into HIS presence why will any of this matter?

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    • Grams,
      Thank you for being so honest about how you feel and the hurt you’re experiencing. I think we’re always so afraid to really be our raw, honest selves for people…we’re afraid they won’t understand what we say or think or all the emotions we’re experiencing. But when we are brave enough to open up and tell the truth, it seems like that’s when people really know and understand us best. If you had just said, “great post—I needed that” and had left out all the truth about your sadness and heartache, I never would have known or understood what you are really going through—thank you for letting me into your heart and sharing your true thoughts with me. Thank you for not editing yourself to me and allowing me to know what you are really thinking and feeling.
      What is a year to a broken heart? Time means nothing when the one you want isn’t there…for a day or ten years…time doesn’t bring the lost one back and can therefore heal no wound. There is nothing wrong with you for being sad and lonely even when your life is filled with love and people—those people aren’t grandpa and that makes all the difference. You were two parts of a whole and now part of you is missing—and it hurts—and that’s okay.
      I wish I could make your pain go away, but like you said, only God can do that. I’m so glad we have the hope of God and the hope that our pain and loneliness will someday be mended. I love you so much, Grams. Thank you for your honesty and know that I love you so, so much and am praying that God will comfort you in the loneliness.

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  3. No one has a “perfect life,” not as long as we are living in a sin-filled world. You are so right when you say that there is another story behind the face we all present to the world. If you could really see the person behind the beautiful young lady you talk about I am sure you would find out that there have been very trying times in her life, that she does not consider herself to be nearly as stunning and put together as you think she is. Many times those are the very people who have experienced the heaviest of sorrows.
    Learning contentment is so rare in todays world and yet it is such a worthwhile lesson! I constantly remind myself that I am just a sojourner here, my home is in Heaven. No possessions here are worth much when you are laying on your death bed, and what’s more the “things” that we so often treasure here are not of any note to those who will obtain them after we are gone. Smiles, hugs, lots of love, kindness….these are real treasures we can share now and they are more likely to be remembered and treasured after we are gone.

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  4. Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m so guilty of the jealousy of other people when I see their perfect lives on Facebook! I end up playing the “why don’t we? or why don’t I?” game and I get very dissatisfied and intimidated very quickly. These words were exactly what I needed to hear as I head to the gym for the first time in a long time tonight lol 🙂 I’m only seeing some of those girls’ perfect abs, thighs, hips, buns,arms, errr……I mean dots 🙂 and I have no idea what their other struggles or insecurities may be.

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    • Caryn,
      Thanks for reading and commenting and thanks for your honesty. I really struggle with comparing myself to other people and competing with other women in the way I look and dress. It’s so superficial and self-centered. I’m just thankful God hasn’t given up on me and is teaching me to find myself in him not in what other people think of me.

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