Hey, you. Yeah, you. The one buying the self-help books and following the social media influencers and life coaches. Yeah, you. Don’t try to walk away…I see you.
Come on over here and sit down. It’s okay. I don’t bite. Unless you’re a pie. Ha ha ha. Get it? Bite? A pie? Yeah, I know; it’s not my best material. What I’m trying to say is that I’m not angry and you’re not in trouble. You will walk away from this encounter completely unscathed. You might get some glitter on you, but that’s about it. And really, how is that a bad thing?
Listen, I need to talk to you.
I know your heart is in the right place. I know why you follow these people and hang on their every word and like each selfie they post. And oh, boy, do they post a lot of photos of themselves. I mean, woah. A lot. We are talking Kardashian levels. And you like them all. Each one. You must have a callous on your index finger from pressing the “like” button as much as you have.
But again, I know why you do it.
You do it because you want what you see. You want to be the laughing couple, caught in a funny carefree moment with your spouse, laughing over the fact that the barista put your name on his cup and his name on your cup and “Oh my gosh-isn’t that funny? And we’re so in love. And let’s go on a picnic with our vintage bikes.” You want to be the woman that effortlessly bats away negativity with the toss of your perfectly coiffed curls. You want the children who are always giving hugs and the kitchen that is spotless and clean and filled with light, even at 2am. You always want to be laughing and empowered. You want to be strong.
You want the life you see. And you figure if you follow the people who SHOW you that life online, then maybe, just maybe, by buying their books or their programs, following their Instagram or blog or social media presence, then part of that life will rub off on you.
In words you will understand, spoken out of nothing but love, let me just say…
Girl, WAKE UP.
EVERYONE struggles. Everyone has moments they are on the mountaintop followed by the complete and utter conviction that everything is going to hell and they should just pack it up and join the circus.
See, I don’t think these sorts of people make our lives better. I really don’t. I’m not saying they are awful people, but the carefully staged picture of success they are putting out into the world doesn’t make the world better. Just the opposite, actually. I think these sorts of Coaches of Narcissism hurt more than they help, because they create a staged, carefully crafted, unattainable world that many seek but nobody finds.
Because it doesn’t freaking exist.
And what’s worse, in their zeal to sell a book or further their online status, they start borrowing from the lives of others. And by borrowing, I mean stealing. Plagiarizing. Attaching their name to content they don’t own in an attempt to be more than they are. Mistruthing at its finest.
But you don’t see it; you are caught in their net of mistruths. So, you continue to buy the books and listen to the podcasts and you wonder what is wrong with YOU, that you can’t achieve their level of personal success; that YOU can’t be that creative and funny and adored and organized and strong and positive all the time. You look at their lives and then back at yours and you see the crayon marks on the hallway wall, a dog peeing everywhere but where she should, a kid in time out, a kitchen that requires a hazmat suit, a spouse who left his socks and underwear on the bathroom floor AGAIN which resulted in an argument two days ago, the wake of which you are still riding and you say…WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
This is where you need to listen up. (I’ve attached a selfie of me if you need it to help you believe what I’m saying. And if so, boy, we need to wean you off this need. )
Are you ready? Are you listening?
NOTHING is wrong with you.
What you see online and what you read is made by design. It is thought up and created. It is like one of those animals made in a dish in a lab. It is put out to obtain likes and followers. You, my dear, are living a real life in the real world and the real world isn’t pretty. It isn’t bathed in soft light. It’s a world where socks and underwear are left on the bathroom floor, people. It’s messy. It argues. It laughs at rules and online graphics, even the stolen ones. Especially the stolen ones.
But, it’s a wonderful mess, BECAUSE it’s real. See, nobody has all the answers. There is no one-size-fits all. Most of us are out there simply doing the best we can. What works for me might not work for you and the other way around, but to buy into the notion that someone has all the answers and is living a life that looks like a Hallmark movie is doing your heart and soul great harm, cause baby, it ain’t real.
Okay, take a deep breath. I see you are a bit shaken by all of this news. I understand. Like the days of old where women unknowingly poisoned themselves by using lead-based makeup, you’ve been fed a steady diet of social media nonsense for quite some time.
It’s not your fault; you didn’t know.
But now, you do.
So, girl, wise up.