"All we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything.
What we think we become." –Gautama Buddha
I deliberately say "look like" here, because I cannot believe people's lives are all sepia-toned pancakes and soft-focus chuppahs (honestly, you got married over a year ago, it's time to change your profile picture, and not to yet another wedding photo). Below is a great Portlandia sketch to illustrate my point.
I am all for sharing celebrations, successes, beautiful images, and important news on social media. That's what it should be for—spreading a little joy. The problem is not in what people post, it's how I choose to react to it. Shifting my perspective from, "Fuck, look at what all these beautiful people are doing 24/7 without me!" to, "Look at what these beautiful people are doing!" anchors what I'm seeing in a little reality. Because we can never, ever tell what people's motivations are for anything, unless we ask and we choose to believe their answer. And likely, they're not posting updates to make me jealous. Likely, they're not thinking about me. Likely, they have their own insecurities and doubts and fears and think getting 27 likes on their photo may buoy their self esteem for a bit.
There is also something to be said for when I check Facebook. I work at a desk and have gotten into the horrible habit of auto-typing "command-T-F" whenever I want a distraction. So I'm in one of my more vulnerable arenas doing the comparison dance upwards of 11 times a day. Am I a masochist? This wasn't providing the distraction I wanted, and despite feeling fulfilled, challenged, and happy with my job, I kept thinking, "Why aren't I manning the first all women astronaut team to the moon? I'm such a failure!"
So with a little self discipline, I've stopped doing this dance at work. Instead, I have the Positive Affirmations tumblr always open on my browser. When I feel the need for a distraction, I pop that up and soak in some goodness. I truly believe we become what we think. Why not think I'm beautiful, grateful, capable and worthy of loving myself and others? Below are a few of my favorites.