I love a good black and white filter. Don't you? Besides the fact that it glosses over the unmade face, and mismatched clothing - (hello, #momlife) more importantly it draws your focus in. Black and whites are about the emotion of the image - at least to me they are. And this one, it's no different.
I look at this picture, and I automatically breathe in. A response perhaps to seeing my sweet baby Theo wrapped in a big cushy blanket - it just speaks to comfort. And maybe to others, it seems - if even just briefly - that I have it all together. All together, as I snuggle that beautiful baby, in that cushy blanket - with my flawless filter.
You see, this particular day was rough. Actually - the week was brutal. Busy. So busy, that I was staying up until 2 and 3 am just to make it all somewhat work. I was exhausted. Beyond exhausted - spent. On top of that, I was feeling guilty that I wasn't spending enough time with my children. I was grumpy from lack of sleep and my thoughts were without clarity. I had way too much on my 'to do' list. I went to sleep stressed - and awoke the same. And while I rationally knew that it was a 'season' - I also was quite aware that I just needed to breathe.
So - I grabbed Theo. I held him close until he fell asleep on my chest. One of my favorite things to do. I like to be the one to watch him fall asleep. Selfish perhaps, but it calms and quiets my spirit. Then .... I just sobbed. I cried that deep cry - the one that sort of makes your shoulders shake. No one else was around. And so - I cried some more.
I felt all of the emotions. Guilt. Stress. Anxiety. Doubt ... and then some. I questioned my vision. Questioned my reason for doing what I was doing - and all the while, felt a tinge of hopelessness start to creep in.
I'm being transparent. Why? Because I know I am not the only one that has felt this. You are not alone. I also share because I know that sometimes when we see cleaned up, filtered images - we see perfection that does not exist. We see beauty, and we should - but it does not occur to us, that a mess may lie within.
Friend: comparing yourself to the image on your screen can only drive you further into despair. Remember - just like that image being filtered and brightened - social media, is the platform for that. Filtering. Brightening. Presenting the tidy life.
So, why would I choose to post that image onto Instagram and Facebook? To others, people may see the quiet beauty of a sleeping baby. Which, that's good ... right? To me: it meant more. A reminder to allow myself to sob. To breathe. And to come away from that with a refreshed perspective.
Which ... I did. Eventually, I had my cry. And I was able to breathe deeply and smell Theo's sweet little baby hair. I was reminded, that yes - this indeed was a season - but it was still blessed. Still good. Still impactful. Still with purpose and it's ok to push pause intermittently.
I moved forward with faith, with hope, and that night? I went to bed at a decent time.