What if the only pictures you were able to take, print, or share were ones from the low, ugly, or gloomy points from your life?
The framed pictures around my house, the digital photos on my phone, and ones I use for our coffee table photo books only have ONE thing in common: they're all views from the top. They're of the high points from a vacation, from a family photo shoot, or from a goofy moment in the store trying on silly hats.
But my photos also share what they are NOT: none of them are from the low, ugly points. Whether they are printed or digital, you will not find one picture that captures all the moments in between the fun moments. There are no shots of us fighting at Disney World or me driving away in the car after an argument with my husband. There aren't any pictures of me sad after checking my bookstore sales online or huddled in bed depressed with self-doubt. There are no shots of me yelling at my daughter to get to bed or ones where I'm ignoring her because I just want to finish a game on my phone.
The 'WHY' is obvious... I don't want to display any of the bad, low or horrible points from my life. I can say it's because I don't want to remember those. But actually, I remember most of them and allow them to thrash about in my head more than I'm sure is healthy.
BUT THEN... a few days ago... a question hit me:
IF I DON'T SHARE THE LOW POINTS, AREN'T I JUST ADDING TO THE FEAR THAT I AND OTHERS FEEL SO OFTEN: THAT WE'RE ALL ALONE & THAT WE'RE THE ONLY ONE GOING THROUGH WHAT WE'RE GOING THOUGH?
Look at this picture................
When we're looking at others, it's easy to assume that what we see above the water is all there is. We know in our heads that what we see isn't all there is, but we don't really believe it. We think that they naturally got there or, at best, think that they must have worked hard to get there. Because if we truly understood what it took them, then why are we so shocked when we try something new and experience all the stuff under the water??? It's because all that underwater stuff is often done in alone. It's not photographed and posted on Instagram.
But what if we lived out more of what was under the water in plain view? What if we let go of our pride, our fear of judgement, or whatever else might keep us to only sharing the "perfect" moments? Could that, just possibly, make it easier for the next soul who steps out in faith to take the plunge into the unknown? Would it be just a bit more bearable for them if they got to see the disappointment actually played out instead of just assume that it's just 'part of the deal'? If they had seen Facebook pictures about your low points, would they be encouraged to keep going when they experienced their own failures?
Let me give an example: A few months ago I had a book signing at one of the Chapters locations. It was fabulous. I sold a ton of books, met a lot of great people, and I was flying high with excitement. And so... when I got home, I jumped on the computer and posted a HUGE thank you on Facebook. Compare that with my last book signing. Before I went I posted a picture of all my books I had ordered and said how excited I was that I was one of only 20 vendors accepted to come to the NO GREATER LOVE MUSIC FESTIVAL. Easy right? Yes, because that was a high point. But there is a VAST difference: no post afterward. The signing didn't go as expected. There were a ton of things that just didn't make it possible to sell what I thought I would... NOWHERE NEAR.
The book signing at Chapters: 30 books in a few hours. The book signing at the festival: 22 in two VERY LONG days. UGH!!!!
But in hopes of this encouraging someone who is struggling with one or more points 'under the water,' here is a picture of the culmination of four of my 'under water' points: persistence, failure, sacrifice, disappointment. Success isn't only what's above the water... it includes it ALL... at least for me. I need to embrace that truth.
So now I have a closet full of more than 500 books, with no idea what I'm going to do with them all. All I can do is get back to the other four points: dedication, discipline, and hard work.... with hopes and faith that it will build up more of the 'above water' stuff.
PS... if it's been awhile since you've seen a 'LOW' post from me... call me on it. It isn't because there are no lows - it's because I'm not "doin' the real." SUCCESS AT ANYTHING IS HARD!!!