I saw a video bopping around Facebook last week. It was about a man perusing around town getting frustrated at just about everyone and everything. From the boy skating by as he was trying to pull out of the driveway to the slow service at a local coffee bar. And then a stranger hands him a pair of glasses. Those glasses told a story. Everyone’s individual story. But not just their story. Their difficulties. Their hard times. Their weaknesses. And it reminded me of a time in my own life. A really really hard time. And a really long lasting hard time.
I remember being at Addie’s school at about 10% of my true self. Probably quiet, probably half mentally present and probably looking a bit off. But with a smile and a wave and an attempt at pretending like life was perfect. But it wasn’t. And I remember thinking in those moments that no one had a clue. Not a clue to the craziness going on in my marriage and in my life. They possibly judged me for looking a mess. They probably judged me for remembering about half of their names and half of their faces. They probably judged me for forgetting supplies and parties and meetings. And they probably judged me for not seeming quite right. But heck I’d probably do the same. I know I do the same. Without even realizing I do. Yet I try. Every single day I try my hardest to remember to extend grace.
Yet in those moments. Those months. That year, the reality was that I wasn’t trying to look a mess. I wasn’t trying to forget. I wasn’t trying to be a bad mom. I was just trying to make it through. Trying to hope and think and pray that it would just go away. I literally just tried to survive. Just make it from sun up to sun down. That was my only goal every single day. I remember those days like they were yesterday. And that’s when I began to truly realize there’s so much more to each and every one of us than what is seen and what is said. So much room for grace.
I’ve often thought that that understanding or those glasses alone would make this world a better place. Because we often judge others based solely on what we can see. As if one’s face and words alone tell their story. Their entire truth. We even go as far as to compare our truth to another’s “perfection” based solely on what we can see. We let insecurities and even depression take hold of us because we become envious and hateful based solely on what we can see. Yet if we sought to see through what was visible. Tried to understand that we all try and put on a face. Some better than others but we all try. I have to say that that year I mastered that face. Maybe it’s a blessing or maybe it’s a curse. But I did. And although things are better. Right now. I think. I always TRY to realize that there’s so much more behind “that face”. Struggles and hurt, difficulties and trials, imperfections and insecurities. Just think how it could be. We would all be more patient. Be more kind. Be more understanding. And less judgemental. We’d all continuously seek to extend grace.
XOXO, Brittany Hayes