how to discern between what's real and what's not.
I don't know about you, but the Universe has a way of trying to tell me a significant message, life-changing lesson or timely reminder by throwing it repeatedly (and rather obviously) in my face until I get the golden 'aha' moment. It can take a while but I'll get it eventually.
This week I was reminded of a simple truth ... looks can be deceiving. Things can look great on the outside but may not be so great on the inside.
And how was I reminded of this?
#1. My car was crashed into.
#2. I heard Essena's story.
#1. The car. Panic over. I wasn't actually in the car when it got hit, I was walking towards it. I arrived just in time to hear the resounding crash and see my vehicle forcibly bumped 5ft forwards right out of the parking bay. What the ...?!!
After making sure everyone involved was ok and figuring out how on earth this had happened to a stationary car, I went on to assess the damage. There was nothing there. I couldn't find a scratch, a dent or any evidence of the incident. So weird! I was pretty happy my car had come out unscathed and I went on my merry way thinking how fortunate I'd been.
A few days later, my father in law decided to check the car out a little more, ahem, *thoroughly*. Lying on the ground with his head right under the car, poking around and getting his hands dirty, he found that behind the bumper, a sturdy metal bar had been bent up inside of the vehicle. So, while everything looked fine from the outside, it wasn't on the inside. The bumper had popped out because it's built to do that, but the next layer of protection was damaged so much so that it was unsafe for me to drive and the mechanic told me it wouldn't be able to withstand another collision. So it all looked fine when in fact it really wasn't.
Now, cue example #2. . This story. Essena, an instafamous teen with upwards of 600k followers this week dramatically turned her back on social media after revealing the ugly truth behind those glamorous snaps of hers. Over the last four years she well and truly 'made it' in the online world of self promotion - only to realise now that it's not real life at all, and she feels that she has deceived her followers. While their mostly young, impressionable eyes were seeing a glamorous, healthy, happy and insanely popular model living the dream, Essena was deeply struggling off screen. She was feeling isolated, empty, disconnected and didn't know who she really was. Going through this experience, Essena says it's time to put down the screens and engaging with fake social media so we can live, love and connect (with ourselves and others) more fully and authentically. In 'coming out' about the insanely deceptive online scene she was part of, she's urging us all to get a little more real. Her message loud and clear is this: don't always believe what you see.
So perception and reality don't always match up. I hope my learnings here serve as a timely reminder to be a little more discerning, conscious and aware because looks can deceive us all and it might be the right time for a bit of a reality check.
Take your time to see and experience things more fully. How? Be curious. Be present. Be mindful. Be aware. Before taking something at face value - seize an extra moment to check in with yourself, with others, and suss out what's really going on right now. Is it time to repair something broken in order to make it more resilient? To reach out and check everything is actually as fine as it seems? Can you make a little more effort to tune into what's really happening - both inside and out?
Leave me your own examples, 'aha' moments and comments below. I'd love to hear your learnings!