"She seems so perfect. How in the heck does she have 4 kids and still look like that? She has to have other problems than physical appearance... I wonder if she's just bad at budgeting or maybe she has psoriasis or something unfortunate like that. I have eczema and I am pretty good at covering that up... hmmm... I wonder how her marriage is? They seem so freaking happy all the time... I bet they have sex all the time. Dang, we should have sex soon. Her top is so cute. I could definitely not pull that look off... mainly because it's from Anthropology where I have to keep contained to the items on clearance in the sale section. I wonder if she has ever lost her temper at her kids? Probably not. They seem so well behaved and she seems really organized and consistent with their discipline plan. The one I read about her on her blog. Gosh her blog is so well done and she has a bajillion followers. Of course she does..."

You're 100% lying if you haven't had this dialogue with yourself in your head on some level similar to this one. No? Ok. All you liars can just go hang out with all the other "I don't compare myself to anyone" people and pray for us to get our shit figured out. K bye!

I will start with this. I am a lover of social media. Obvs. I truly enjoy connecting with people and sharing my personal life on the daily in a creative way. It can be used in such positive ways. BUT it has officially become a strong and dangerous weapon of deception. If we aren't careful, we can manipulate our lives to be what we want them to be by choosing what we want others to see. Dare I even go as far as- we choose for people to see our lives the way we WISH we could see/live our lives? 

I've been sitting on the word perception this week. It's so powerful. Some people, myself included, have become masterminds in how to create this alternate reality to invite you into... a way to view me the way I would want to be viewed. When I know that I can make you think I've got it together, it gives me power over you and makes me feel really good about myself because as people that care deeply what others think of us, the ability to control your thoughts about us is VERY attractive and addictive. The freaky part is, so many of us do this without even know we are doing it! We are so protective of our image/what we are putting off to the world, that we lose who we TRULY are as individuals and actually start to become what others would approve of or what others would think is awesome/cool/funny/appropriate/beautiful.... even envied. 

Can I go as far as saying that somewhere deep in us, it is satisfying to be envied? It gives us a bit of a high to know that someone out there wants to "be like me" or "wants what I have." Why else would we work so hard at controlling perception? We like having that power. Because power equals control. If I can control what you think of me, it can somewhat distract me from the LACK of control I have over my own mind/self to believe that I am worthy and valued beyond your judgements. I told yall I would be honest up in here, sorry. That last bit was kind of a lot. Sorry for throwing you into the deep end of my rabbit trail. I tend to want to know the root of things. The "why" behind thoughts and actions. It's so interesting how our brains work and I am absolutely fascinated with how an insatiable desire to be loved can result in such destructive behavior just to pacify our day to day need to feel accepted and of purpose.

Have you noticed that we judge others the hardest in the places that we judge ourselves? So crazy. In my opinion, humanity is salivating for authenticity. I am on a journey to see what that really looks like for me personally. That is another long and vulnerable blog post for another time, but just know that I am stepping out of being a professional chameleon into well, Caroline. I am the real slim shady, and I am standing up. (If you don't know eminem lyrics, you're lost. Apologies.) Anyways, when people say "be yourself", there was a time I didn't even know how to do that due to all of the identities and masks I wore to present myself with as little risk and the most familiarity as possible. My journey into authenticity took a complete control + alt + delete function. I've had to stop wanting so hard to be like everyone else and start mining out what it looks like to actually want to be me. Self-love y'all. Something that is so misunderstood these days. Another post for another time. Anyways, I am still in quite the re-booting phase of the "who is Caroline" saga, but at least I am moving in the right direction and am starting to breathe a little deeper and find a little more contentment in my skin. 

So, can you relate to this at all? It would be so hard to believe if you didn't. There is an epidemic of self-hatred due to comparison in our world. Specifically and predominantly in women. What do we do? I feel like when we release our stories and share our stuff, our lives and our truths with others, something lifts and connection is made. Relatability breeds the freedom in others to accept themselves and receive the acceptance of others in a healthy way. Relatable real-ness is the TRUE craving of our culture, no matter what is trending on our newsfeeds. What does being YOU mean? It's completely and utterly different for every single human being and that is OKAY! That is beautiful. That is what was intended from the beginning.