Showing Up Anyway

Glenn Doyle Melton

One of my biggest issues about Facebook and Instagram is that everything on Social Media is an illusion. It’s all smoke and mirrors. You only see what the person posting wants you to see. For example, I had a conversation with a coworker a while ago. From what she told me in person, there is a A LOT of drama in her life and her family life is challenging. However, on Facebook, it’s all big smiles, family photos, beautiful pictures of happy times and long posts about her wonderful life and vacations. Her Social Media image does not match what I saw in person. My coworker isn’t the only person guilty of this. Almost everyone does it on Social Media. I bought into at first too. Folks take 35 crappy selfies and only post the one that turned out good. They use filters on their sunset photos so it looks extra beautiful and make sure you only see what’s good. Social Media robbed us of authenticity and reality.

I disengaged from a Facebook a few months ago. I have no regrets. I am still on it because my family is on it and they post photos of the kids there. I also find out where my nieces softball games are so I can go watch. I enjoy that. I don’t post. As I scroll through posts, I can’t help but wondering how did we all get conditioned to think we always have to be positive, have a beautiful back yard or live in a big home? Why is it everyone thinks your life is wonderful if you are eating dinner with 20 other people or checking into four bars every night? When did we give up our right to have a messy complicated life? Why can’t we ever be pissy, have a bad day, be sad, admit our holidays sucked and God forbid post a bad picture of ourselves on Facebook?

This post isn’t a rant about Social Media. It is about a complete lack of authencity. No one wants to own the messy parts of themselves that aren’t camera ready. No one wants to admit they have depressing thoughts sometimes. No one wants you to see their darkness anymore. I am writing this post because the truth is I am messy and complicated lately. My thoughts are sad and depressing. I am worried and scared. My tummy is bloated. I am in pain and I just am fucking over it. Why should I continue to lie and pretend I am positive and happy when I am not. I am just not…

Don’t get me wrong… There are positive things in my life. I like where I live. I am enjoying my job. My career is going great. My family loves me. Yesterday I got to watch my great niece pitch over 50mph at FastPitch Summer Nationals via North Myrtle Beach Park’s field webcam. Tomorrow is her first elimination game. Her team, Philadelphia Spirit (Fast Pitch Softball), is in seed one in her division. They are undefeated in the tournament so far. I hope I can catch part of the game. My nephew is a good dad and good coach. That makes me proud and happy because I’ve been keeping him straight since I was 10 years old. We fight like brother and sister BUT he listens to me. I get through to him and I know I played a role in making him the man he is today. That makes me happy and proud especially when I see him with his kids.

I have an appt with my Gastro doc tomorrow morning. I am hoping for answers but I don’t expect to get any tomorrow since I will need a scope and probably a cat scan. The pain is all around the left breast which is where the stomach but it is also where the heart is. My BP and Heart Rate have been stable and beautiful. Hopefully that means my heart is not the problem. Either way, I need to figure out what this is because it’s wearing me out.

I just decided it was time to be honest and show authenticity on this blog. Sometimes life sucks. These health issues are taking a toll on my stamina and wearing me down. That is nothing but the truth. Why should I act strong when I am not? Why shouldn’t I allow you to see me? Perhaps I allow folks to see me this raw, others will feel liberated and will drop their masks too. Perhaps someone reading this will see I am sad and know it is ok for them to be sad too. Maybe someone will see it’s ok to be messy and afraid. Show up anyway… Show up in life anyway… The below poem is messy and afraid Linda writing authentically about how she’s been feeling lately. Please open your mind and heart a little before reading this. Allow your compassion and empathy to feel what I am feeling rather than judging me. Then you will understand authentically how I feel.

In gratitude,
Linda

Showing Up, Anyway
By: Linda A Long

I can pretend…For your benefit…That I am well
That my…Mind, body and spirit…Are harmoniously unified
I can pretend…That I am…Determined to…Remain strong and optimistic
That I have…Control of my emotions
That I am…Filled with…Inspiration to rise up…And fight, fight
The adversary within…My own body
Undermining every…Step forward…Pulling me back…After every victory…Weighing me down
With worry, anxiety…And ceaseless attacks…On my body
Weakening my mind…And slowly…Breaking my spirit
I only fought…This long…Because I didn’t…Want you to…Think I was weak
I only fought…This long…Because I believed…I could still…Win
I believed…I could still…Live a full life
I thought…I would still have love
And be able to…Share my heart…With another
Joyfully living my life…In a state of gratitude
But…It is very hard
To be grateful…While feeling…Constantly defeated…By a body that…Attacks itself
It is hard…To be optimistic…When every day…Presents a new physical challenge
With little answers…And even less support
Everyone wants to hear…“I’m great”
No one wants…To know the truth
Or even really…Look in my eyes to see my truth
No one wants to…Stop looking at…Their phone for five minutes to have a simple Conversation
And actually mean it…When they ask…“How are you?”
I’ll just go on…Pretending…“I’m great”
And you all…Just go on…Doing whatever makes you feel good
With your heads…Buried in your phones…Too preoccupied for human compassion
Being too wrapped up…In your own life…To really care…About mine
I go on pretending…To make it easier…For everyone…Who says…“I am here for you”
But really…Just want to be here…When I am great…And not when
Life is heavy and complicated…
I’ll pretend…You care…While you feel…Good about yourself
I know the truth….But
I will keep pretending…For your benefit
If it helps you…Get through the day
Broadcasting fake friendship…On Facebook…While phone calls and texts…Go unanswered
I know who…I can really count on…I know who…Really cares about me
But…I will pretend…For your benefit
Everything is fine…Even while I silently…Want to let go
Because I am tired…
From fighting so hard…To be well…It is exhausting me
Fighting alone…Is disheartening
I am just not sure…I know my reason…Anymore
I don’t know my…Reason to fight…For this life…Anymore
And I am not sure…What difference…It makes
I am sorry…If my true thoughts
Scare you or hurt you…
It just scares me… That I don’t know what my reason…To live is anymore
The next time…You ask…“How are you?”
I’ll smile and say…“I’m great!”
Simply because…It’s what you want to hear
Not because…It’s how I feel
Know this…When I ask you…“How are you?”
I want to hear…The full truth…Even if it is…Messy, complicated and sad
Let me hear your heartache…Let me share your burden…Let me lighten your heart
I want you to know… You are loved…And have a reason… To live
Even if I can’t…Find my own reason anymore

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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