While having tea with a good friend yesterday, she told me she felt compelled to share a story with me that was told to her a few years back during a time of transition in her life. The story goes- there was a man who needed to clean his fish tank. It was a small tank with about 10-12 fish in it. He decided to fill up the bath tub and put the fish in there while he cleaned the tank. After scrubbing the tank clean, he returned to the bathroom to retrieve the fish from the tub expecting to see them all spread out, and happily swimming in the large tub. But, what he saw was the exact opposite. All the fish were clustered together in one end of the tub; just like when they are in their small fish tank.
The moral of the story – sometimes when we are presented with the opportunity to explore new ground, grow, or think big; we instead remain comfortable, fear deviating from our original plan, and think small. Why do we do this to ourselves? What are we so afraid of?
Perhaps this fear of expansion is being fed by our consistent judgement of ourselves and others? I ask, “What role does social media play in this loop of judgement?”
Of course I am human, dodos!
Since pulling back the veil, being truthful with myself and putting all my good, bad and ugly parts out there into the world via my blog/social media- I have found a deeper connection begin to form with various people in my life. I have been told by some, that I am more approachable, and seem more human. At first I took a bit of offense to these remarks. Of course I am human, dodos! But, when I got real with myself, I understood that they weren’t saying this to offend me. They were saying this to commend me. Keeping the world at arms length all my life hasn’t served me. In fact, it isolated me. I often felt alone, misunderstood, angry and sad.
A shift has occurred in me. It could have something to do with now being in my forties ( you know that whole wisdom thing starting). It could have something to do with my Lyme journey. It could be for a variety of reasons. What I do know, is that for the longest time I felt like I was 2 different people in 1 body. Since childhood I have been used to being a version of my self outside of the home. In the book Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton describes it as, sending out your representative. For the last decade or so, one part of me was Professional Jess and the other was Personal Jess. I was fearful to mix the two. I also was super hesitant to start my blog and share my truth. I feared what patients and colleagues may think of me. Would they judge me as weak or lesser than?
“My personal self and professional self were at war. It was time to make peace between the two.”
I was recently watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. She had DeVon Franklin on as a guest. DeVon said something that episode that made me go, “YES!” inside- “That is exactly how I feel!” He said something like, “My personal self and professional self were at war. It was time to make peace between the two.”
I am slowly but surely making peace between my two selves. I am spending much less time concerning myself with being judged by others. I am speaking from my heart more, and mind less. It feels good.
Many of us post on social media a very one dimensional view of our lives. Mostly, we post things that make our lives look perfect. Whereas, others post about every paper cut and eye twitch ( BTW you have probably been unfollowed by a few people). Either way, it isn’t the whole truth- which is fine. I just want to kindly remind everyone who is on social media, judging themselves through comparison, or judging others through comparison -that life isn’t all black and white. It’s a big beautiful grey mess my friends.
It would be nice if we could find a happy medium on social media- or what I like to call a Happy Social Medium. But, until then let’s all work on loving who we are; loving others for who they are, trusting the Universe, and making peace with what is. Go on- deviate from that plan, explore that huge tub of life, think big, don’t judge, leave your representative at home, speak your truth. And, as my husband always says, “Just do you.”
Hey JC: Hope I didn’t butcher the fish tank story too much!
Love, Joy, Truth, Gratitude-