Sadly, this isn’t going to be a post about that earworm of a song *let it go* from Frozen (still can’t make up my mind whether I love it or not). Nope, instead I’ve been pondering and mulling over the potential pressure one can feel from social media (in particular) to feel happy, accomplished, productive.
I’m absolutely NOT knocking happiness or anyone trying to focus on being happy (which I totally celebrate and I love that 100 days of happy project) but what I have noticed is a tendency, particularly on social media sites such as FB, Instragram etc, for people to present their *best face/best life* so to speak.
Of course, this is totally understandable and natural human behaviour not to want to expose one’s vulnerabilities to the world and equally the choice not to is also totally valid and fine. I do wonder, however, how many of us forget that this is in fact what most people are doing when posting to social media sites and that, these moments are but mere snapshots of a person’s life, carefully selected and presented often through a positive filter?
LJ – “I hold my hand up and say “guilty!” Guilty of not intentionally putting up happy snaps of Magoo and motherhood and life, but guilty of not sharing what really happens on a day to day basis with a new baby. I always try to live in the positive but I realise that by not also acknowledging the hardships that I have gone through via social media, it might be doing a disservice to new mothers or mums to be.”
(LJ will be talking about this more because it warrants a full post!!)
I think, particularly when one is going through a hard time (I’m not by the way so don’t worry friends & family!), the lives of others, presented via social media sites, can leave one feeling as if everyone in the entire world has it all worked out apart from oneself. Personally, I advocate not comparing oneself or one’s life to others, but with the pervasive nature of social media these days it can be hard to avoid doing so if one is even the tiniest bit insecure or lacking in self esteem.
It is because of this that I feel it’s sensible to remind oneself of the following:
The window through which we are afforded a glimpse at the lives of our friends, family, complete strangers (via social media) are merely tiny little port holes. There’s a whole plethora of emotions, events, parts of those lives that we never EVER get to see through this tiny window because they occur in the safety of the inner rooms of those lives.
So, I guess what I’m saying is that it’s ok and totally normal if your feelings don’t match what you see being posted on social media sites, that there’s a high probability that even the happiest seeming folk on social media sites probably feel shit at least once a day and, ultimately, we are all human and run the same gambit of emotions whether we share them on social media sites or not!
Emotions are like the weather, ever changing.
That rather long musing actually brings me to the title of this post *let it go* what’s that all about?
I read a rather wonderful piece the other day by a lady I very much admire, Nat Kringoudis (Author and Speaker. Dr of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine & Acupuncturist). Nat talks about embracing your emotions, which means ALL of them, even those that one may have been conditioned to push down or push away or avoid totally!
“I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it – we aren’t taught to deal with emotions. If we don’t allow ourselves to properly feel, we can’t process and move through the emotions that go with it that make us unhealthy and stressed on an unconscious level. What emotions have you moved through properly today? I’ve gone from sadness and hurt to frustration, guilt and then self reflection to then come out and say to myself – I’m a good person and that’s what matters to me – because remember, what others think about you isn’t your business.” – Nat Kringoudis
One of the things I admire so very much about children is their absolute need to express exactly how they are feeling right here and now and not to shy away from or push those feelings away. They really are our greatest teachers aren’t they!
Anyway this is getting a bit long now so I shall just leave you with this:
a) we are all the same don’t let the social media fool you!
b) feel your emotions, don’t push them away or swallow them…feel them and then let them go…free yourself!
Anna & LJ x