Recently, I was on Facebook, when a couple of articles showed up in my feed. One was called “Your Facebook Life Doesn’t Fool Me…,” which basically sums up the subject matter of both posts. These articles noted how social media can lead to depression and so forth because people tend to post the best of themselves, leaving others feel like they are “not enough.”
The posts prompted me to think. I now live in Hawaii. I post LOTS of photos playing in the water, enjoying the lush greenery, and exploring the island. And, of course, my family always has great big smiles in these pictures. I mean, we are having fun when they were taken or I wouldn’t bother taking them.
But, I feel I should let everyone in on a secret…something I learned before coming to the Big Island, but have since had this lesson reinforced even more so. Happiness truly is not a destination. It is always there, just waiting for us to let go of all the garbage in our head that blocks it.
Since moving to Hawaii, the pictures I post on social media are about 10% of my life here. The other 90% includes me stressing about money, what I’m going to do with my life, where I’m going to live next, and dealing with children who feel much more entitled than they should. Yes, Hawaii is beautiful. Yes, the people are amazing. However, although we can place ourselves in an environment that helps fuel our joy, the joy must be in place first in order to receive the fuel.
I still have so far to go with my spiritual growth. One thing I made sure of before moving to the islands was that my husband and I were both aware that we cannot run fun pain and joy is not a destination. We both agreed that, no matter where our lives took us, we must seek within to find peace. Even though we recognize this, we still both struggle with it at times, which leads to arguments, long talks, and a lot of self-evaluation.
Life is never what it seems on Facebook. I don’t want people to look at my posts and feel any sense of “lack” because I appear to have the good life. I mostly wanted to make it clear to anyone who may see my posts and feel jealous of my seemingly ‘perfect’ life in paradise, that just because I live in the tropics and have some pretty amazing photos to post, does not make me any happier or better off than the next person. Yes, my husband and I fight. Yes, my kids frustrate the hell out of me. Yes, I complain more than I should. Yes, I look at other people’s lives and Facebook and wish I had some of what they do. Then, I turn off my devices, remind myself of all that is beautiful in my life, and let it go.