I’ve been described in many ways over the years. Creative, Energetic, Empowering. My internal words for myself have never seemed to match those, mine were significantly less encouraging. Often the problem we face is that people interact with our outsides but never truly see our insides. This is not a new concept but for some reason we continue to perpetuate the lie that it is possible to compare our insides to other peoples outsides.
I don’t know about you but the vast majority of people that I know seem to lead fabulous lives. They have fabulous relationships, amazing and fruitful jobs and clearly by their social media stream a very active leisure and cafe visiting lifestyle. Sure they occasionally write ‘having a sad day’ on facebook as their status, but everybody gets out of bed on the wrong side once a year.
Meanwhile I feel like a mess. I feel totally dysfunctional in most of my close relationships, my job is exhausting me and if I am honest I visit cafes to fill up on caffeine just so that I can crawl through my life and be somewhat functional.
So the vicious cycle of comparing my insides to others outsides begins. Our major problem is that peoples outsides are not the whole story. I once heard an Executive Producer of ‘Big Brother’ state without flinching that real life was just un produced reality television. What the hell. Life is just the poorer cousin of produced existence.
Is that what our lives have come to? A series of produced moments that can be pushed into the world as either a sound bite, a tweet, an instagram picture or a snapchat (old people - these are social media mediums). But those of us not so up to date with technology are no different.
I was once told by an amazing lady that she once decided to answer honestly when someone asked her how she was. Lets just say people often don’t want to know the real answer when they say ‘how are you?’ The socially acceptable answer is fine thanks and you.
See the problem is we spend so much time producing our outside life that when the producer calls CUT, we are left with what is on the cutting room floor. A pile of real situations, feelings, emotions and realities that somehow we now have to deal with, often alone. We can’t let anyone help us with it because that would imply letting someone see our insides, our unproduced reality.
I have spent many years working very hard to believe that what was going on in my inside life was somehow dealt with by osmosis while i spend 100% of my energy perfecting my outside produced reality.
You see the problem is that my outside life is not untrue, it is a representation of my life but it is just incomplete.
I am the things that people see me as but I am more than that. I have been reduced to a character that can be easily understood, interacted with and often promoted. But I am more than that, I am deeper than that and I am messier than that.
The lie is that this messier side of me renders me ineffective and somehow unworthy to continue to be good at the things people see on the outside.
Our insides do not undermine our outsides they deepen and ground them in a consistency and reality that is sustainable.