Social Media does not always tell the truth.  It's not that people are trying to lie, but most people don't want the entire world to know their struggles.  Fair enough, right?  Last year, someone came up to me, commented on all the traveling photos I was posting and asked "Are you really as happy as you try to make people believe on Facebook?"  Um, ouch!  Ever since that day, I have thought about her question over and over.  I have found the answer to be yes and no.  Let me explain.

When I post photos on social media, it's pretty much always something that I'm excited to share about because it made me happy for one reason or another.  But that doesn't mean that I don't have times when I am not happy.  Also, I am not trying "to make people believe" anything on FaceBook, but when I am struggling, I never think "Oh, I can't wait to go share this moment on social media".  In those hard times, I'm most likely just trying to make it through the day.

I absolutely love that I grew up living overseas and traveling the world, but I am convinced that it is one of the major causes of my lifelong struggle with anxiety.  Plus, when I was 16-years-old, my family had an accident in our home and my mom almost died (read story HERE).  I always believed that as I grew up, I would get over the anxiety...but the older I've gotten, the worse it's gotten.
Over the years and even in high school, I have seen many counselors, psychologists, doctors, taken medications and even gone to natural alternatives.  But, I've come to find over and over that there is no cure.  There is no magic pill.  There is no person that can help me.  It is a burden that I have had to learn to deal with and I have to take to THE LORD every. single. day.  But, I've also come to find that EVERYONE has something...everyone has struggles.  I am no different.  I am not alone.

Mrs. Judy's Tips

The best counselor that I ever saw was a woman named Judy.  She didn't try to convince me that she was going to solve all my problems and she didn't make me feel ashamed of my struggles but she gave me actual steps that I could take to live a normal life as best I can.  When I take good care of my health by following this list, I really can tell that I feel more "normal"!  However, when I don't bother to do any of this, I can tell that I go downhill pretty quickly.  And once there, it's so hard to turn around!

So, back to the question, "Are you really as happy as you try to make people believe on FaceBook?". The answer is yes and no.  Yes, sometimes I am happy and it's usually when I'm posting about something that got me excited or smiling!  And no, sometimes I'm not happy and it's usually when I'm not posting at all.  I mean, seriously...no one is always happy!  And if they are, they're probably insane.  However, I have come to find that posting on social media actually helps me to feel happier and focus less on myself and my own problems!  I love to post photos on Instagram and share something that I'm excited about right in that moment.  I love to use FaceBook to connect with friends and family.  I love to write on my blog and encourage others to dream and learn new things.  So, I'm not trying to make people believe anything...I'm just trying to stay focused on things that are positive for my own sanity.
It is true that social media can be used for negative drama, but just because something can be used badly doesn't mean you have to go down that path!  I know I don't want to and as soon as I notice someone else has, I use that "unfollow" button and take care of it.  Last year, I went to see the new Cinderella movie and felt inspired when the mother was dying and told Cinderella "Have courage and be kind."  It's so simple.  Anyone can do it.  You can do it.  I can do it.

I want to challenge all of us, not to lie or be fake, but use social media as a place to encourage others and speak truth in love!  You never know what someone is going through underneath it all and you never know what impact you might make on their life.  So, make it a positive one!  Life is not perfect...don't be fooled.  But you can take time throughout each day to find little things that make you happy and then share them with others!  Your next post on social media may be exactly what someone else needed to see or hear today.

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