When I look at my friends I see these beautiful women with this act together. Their lives look great from my perspective and they seem to handle things so well. Like my one friend who is always the mom with the coolest teacher gifts or stays up late making costumes for her kids. They are Pinterest award winners who have perfectly put together houses, a pantry always filled with the snacks all the kids like and they have time to hang with me every now and then. I appreciate these women for not only what they do but in the way they don’t let it slow them down from getting it all done in a day too.
It is easier to appreciate my fellow mom friends than it is myself. Let’s face it most of the time I’m simply trying to get through the day, finish work at a decent time and hopefully not have to feed my family cereal for dinner. My house is always on the verge of being a mess with forts built from the sofa cushions and dog hair on everything. Don’t bother looking at the floor either because it’s likely I’ve not had time to sweep or run the vac. There isn’t enough time in the day to keep up with it all on top of working. Hence why self-care for me looks like the passed out nap from exhaustion on the weekends.
My friends see my life and think I have it all together and am successful though I’m not sure how it is even remotely possible to have that opinion of my life. We are all fighting a beast of chaos, stress and never ending to-do lists that none of us feel like we are winning at life. Yet, from the outside looking in, life looks pretty good in someone else’s house. It is easy to take the surface view of someone else’s life and think they have it easy, better or smoother than we do. The truth is we are often just seeing the highlight reel of their circumstances and once we know the details we see our own lives as not so bad usually.
When I am feeling down about my latest battle in life, I think about this comparison between my friends and I and who has the easiest life. Surely they don’t have to worry about the same things I’m worrying about right? Their stress is not the same as mine and they wouldn’t understand what I’m going through as a result. It is probably best I just keep it to myself and work through it. That’s what we do as women a lot; we’re experts at keeping things to ourselves so we are not a burden to someone else.
I tend to hold things back because I know I’m different. My situation is different from most of my friends too. They wouldn’t understand what it is like. I can’t bother them with what is going on in my life because well they may see it as me whining rather than struggling. They see my life as good, comfortable and secure when most of the time it is an ongoing struggle to make sure our current needs are covered and there is a safety net for the next emergency. These issues I can’t seem to see my friends having to deal with because they seem to have more comfortable lives than me. All of them will laugh when they read that too.
The truth is we all have stress, are exhausted, overwhelmed, scared and worried. There is something keeping us all up at night and even if the problems are not exactly the same, there are common themes among us. None of us has it all together and knowing this should be a comfort. I’m not sure what caused me to think my friends wouldn’t understand what I was going through. The ability to speak about it and really share with them has been a great source of refuge for me once I realized this too.
I think in a world where we feel so judged, measured and compared it is very easy to forget we are all just humans. Our expectations that people will not relate to what we are going through or understand what it is like is often misguided. They will get us and they will relate. Our journey is our own and special to us but I believe we are given friends to support and cheer us along the way.
Building that community of friends is the cornerstone of self-care. We need that in our lives. The common ground place we can come together and unburden our souls for a little while so that we are able to stand stronger and continue our journey forward. What we are likely to find is their journey is relatable to our own and we can even share the load for awhile together.
If you are looking for support of a community in living more naturally, let’s chat at dragonspitapothecary.com