Thou Shalt Not Covet
Thou shalt not covet. The tenth commandment. One of the first things I learned in Sunday School yet the first seriously important lesson to slip through my fingers. Also one of the hardest things to practice since we don't even have to leave the house to see what other people have. Thank you, social media. We live in a world where #fomo is a thing. Like, what? This sounds funny, but IT IS MADE UP. Personally, I feel like the belief of missing out on something just translates to being ungrateful. I used to seriously feel DEPRESSED seeing my peers' epic travel photos to insane destinations pop up on my Facebook. I felt this way because in my head I believed this was unattainable. Even though I had a blast with my family on Cape Cod every summer - it wasn't enough. I grew up in a town where family vacations were spent in million dollar summer homes and adventuring to exotic places. And I wanted that. For most, this is not realistic, but was the world that surrounded me.
Growing up I was CONSTANTLY hyper focused on everyone and everything else. "I wish I looked like this", "I wish I had that". The grass is always greener. And even though I knew that some of these families were not genuinely happy, their life still APPEARED better than mine, materially. I guess I thought that having an alcoholic parent when you come from a family of wealth seemed easier than having an alcoholic parent and being broke, but it all hurts just the same. Money might make things easier, but it doesn't fix mental battles. Looking back, I realize I was bored, ungrateful, and bitter. I was so miserable with what was going on at home, if I could at least pretend to have a better life and nicer things, that was good enough.
Especially now with social media, we are continually reminded of the things we don't have, or the things we do, and want more of. All the way down to family. After having an extremely rough year with my husband and countless family issues, seeing "happy" families on Instagram made me focus on all the shitty things that happened instead of being grateful for the good that came out of it. It really gets me down sometimes especially because I beat myself up about not giving Isaac a "better" life, materially speaking. Like, my house wasn't custom built and for sure isn't completely decked out in West Elm and Crate and Barrel (even though that would be dope) and IT DOESN'T F*CKING MATTER. Having a farmhouse sink isn't going to make my food taste better, and not having a gorgeously decorated play room for Isaac isn't going to affect his character or ability to learn. Why do we think we will BE better off when we have better things? When you find yourself coveting, say one thing you're grateful for, and one good thing you did today - you'll find much more satisfaction WITHIN than you will on Pinterest.
When I made my Instagram account public, deleted all the drunk pictures of myself, and started posting mama pictures/ food, I had NO idea what I was doing. All I saw were these big bloggers who people ADORED. I wanted to feel purpose - a different kind than motherhood. I genuinely wanted to make friends and connections with people because I felt so isolated at home, but I also wanted a pretty feed to scratch my "I dropped out of art school" itch. I soon ran out of cool places I could photograph 4 month old Isaac (or a potato if you will) in our fixer upper home that was far from #goals. And since I ate 3 meals a day, I figured I'd give food a try. I am very visual, and somewhat of a perfectionist. I was immediately drawn towards certain accounts because of the style and aesthetic. I wanted my stuff to look cool too! That being said, it consumed me, and I became extremely anxious - always comparing and wondering why my pictures didn't come out like theirs. Umm HELLO, cause I'm me. Maybe I'm not as cool as them - but I don't have what they have. I don't live where they live. I don't do what they do. I honestly thought that on social media that's what people wanted to see vs. focusing on what I was good at and what made me, ME. There are so many people in the world, and NOT ONE OF THEM IS LIKE YOU. Not one of us think the same, feel the same or are the same, and that's a GOOD thing. Uniqueness and individuality is good, don't let other peoples highlight reel dull YOUR LIGHT.
Our children need to see gratitude - they will teach their children what they observe from us, not necessarily what we teach them. And isn't that what parents want? We want "the best" for our kids, guess what - it's FREE.
Things you should WANT to be like and/or more of: loving, kind, generous, honest, forgiving, genuine. Our thinking is so powerful, and while it's great to want to live and eat clean we also need to THINK CLEAN. I wonder sometimes how my mom could raise such happy and loving children despite all of our family shit and it's because her thought was PURE. Damn does the have that mastered. She was never embarrassed about not driving a BMW, taking hand-me-downs from her friends (in her mid 40's), or not shopping at Whole Foods. Even though at one point she was driving a corvette AND a BMW, shopping in Paris, and buying all the pastries in the North End. Our lives are continually changing - good or bad - do not look at others for validation. Look at others for INSPIRATION, support and love. That's all you really need to be HAPPY.
Everything you want "more" of is looking back at you in the mirror.