I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I love looking for ideas—ideas for my home, my yard, my wardrobe, my writing. You name it and I’ll find inspiration for it on Pinterest. Recently I was trying to get a certain look for my hair- I wanted a wave- a loose, effortless wave. I started looking on Pinterest for ideas. What’s the best tool? I’ve been using a flat iron to curl my hair but is a curling iron better? Maybe even a wand? All questions I really needed to know the answers to!
I started searching. Little by little, I found tools, tips and products, pictures and tutorials; basically everything I needed! Then it happened, I came across one specific post titled something like ‘Effortless Wave’. JACKPOT!! This is exactly what I needed, an effortless wave. I’m a busy woman, I have a lot going on and I don’t have a lot of time to spend on my hair so I need this! I NEEDED EFFORTLESS.
I clicked on the link and began to read through the steps.
- Wash your hair
- Blow dry your hair
- Add root volumizer
- Use a wand
- Separate your hair into sections
- Curl the mid-section (not the top, not the bottom, just the middle)
- Clip, pin and lift the curl.
- Spray the curl
- Shake the curl
Blah, blah, blah! This isn’t a beauty post so I’ll spare you the details, but the point is once I started reading one thing was evident; the effortless curl is anything BUT effortless. This bummed me out a little. I was really looking forward to finding the key, getting that flawless Kardashian curl without the stylist, extensions or team of people working to make me look great.
I really wanted that effortless curl but what I got was far more valuable.
When I got to the bottom of that post, reading less and less as I went on, skimming more and more out of pure frustration, I found this; I found that things aren’t always what they seem and if you want to see the prize, you have to commit to the process.
When I’m searching Pinterest or Instagram for ideas or inspiration, it’s really easy to see someone’s highlights and want it for myself. Why can’t I have the effortless beach wave? Why can’t I have that slim waist and flat stomach? Why can’t I have the nice car, clean house and perfect family? Why not?!
Why? Because things are always what they seem. What you see online or on social media isn’t the whole truth, in fact it might be everything BUT the truth. That’s hard to swallow because most of us post on social media sites all the time and the assumption is not that we are liars, but think about it- that picture with your kids? How many tries did it really take? How many bribes (or threats) took place? The picture on the beach on vacation? How annoyed where you all morning? The perfect selfie? How many times did it take to get ‘the one’? It’s not that we’re all liars, it’s just that not everything is always what it seems. There’s always more to the story. There’s always more to what you see. It’s not as simple as snap and share- life is complicated! Life is messy! It’s much harder then it appears and while we love to believe things fall into place by osmosis, and everyone else has it so much easier than us, it doesn’t and they don’t. Life is just as difficult and messy for those around you as it is for you. This should be encouraging! You’re not alone in you’re struggle, you’re not alone in your dysfunction, you might feel alone- but you’re not.
This leads me to my second realization- if you want to see the prize, you must commit to the process. Quite honestly, as much as I love the effortless wave, I don’t love it that much! I’m just really not willing to invest all that time and effort into something that I believed to be ‘effortless’. Does it mean that I can’t ever? No, absolutely not! But it does mean that until I am willing to commit to the process, I’ll never see the prize at the end.
Now this example may seem trivial to you, but the concept can go to anything. When we want to reach the prize, achieve the goal, grasp the promise- we must first commit to the process. There’s simply no other way. There aren’t any short cuts in life, as a believer I hold onto hope and grace, but I surely know that prayer is not a substitute for hard work nor is hard work a substitute for prayer. When I combine the two, that’s when I find the most success, that’s when I find myself living a fruitful, meaningful life.
For a long time (and even on a bad day I’ll find myself reverting to this) I would look around and see what everyone around me was doing, achieving, receiving etc. I would wonder why it was so much easier for them or why they are more fortunate then I was. It wasn’t until I experienced some personal growth and maturity that I realized, things aren’t always what they seem and there are no easy fixes in life. Life is hard, for all of us! And when we get a grip of that, we can focus on our fight and not the one to the right or the left. When I was much more insecure and self- conscious of my body and appearance, I would look at a beautiful woman and think ‘I wish I could look like that! Why can’t I have her body? Why can’t I have her hair?’ I was constantly measuring up to other woman and comparing what I didn’t have to what they did have, in time I’ve been able to look at those women not as a threat or a sign of my weakness but a symbol of strength and encouragement that if they can do it, so can I.
Society is always telling us that we aren’t good enough but what if I told you- you are! You absolutely are!! Every thought of effortless, let it go- there is no such thing! Every thought of- I can’t, let it go! You can! Every feeling of ‘I can’t compete’ let it go!! You don’t have to!!
We are all running a race, chasing a prize- your journey might look different then mine, but we all have one nonetheless. Take courage! Be brave! Be bold! And most importantly, be confident. You are doing far better then you think you are.
Stay encouraged, you’re doing better then you think you are!