The biggest vacation season is almost behind us now and that means thousands of computer hard drives across the nation are crammed full of digital pictures. People typically take a lot of photos on vacation and digital photography has only encouraged it more. Everyone is striving to snap that perfect picture, perhaps for a contest or the family Christmas card. No matter where you go, you can usually see flashes of light and find people posing in front of famous landmarks.
Photos can be deceiving. People may look happy and peaceful in a picture, but it’s not necessarily the way they are in life. Behind the smiles and perfect hairdos, some very unhappy people reside. Recently, a friend of mine came up to me and told me that he reads my articles every week. From those articles, he said he could tell that every now and then my family goes through challenging times. I loved that comment because it helps me be part of the real world. I mean, imagine if every time you read an article from me, you read about my perfect marriage and my perfect children. Wouldn’t it be frustrating to read that week after week? As a reader, you would feel like you don’t measure up or you’re just not good enough.
I have always tried to share, with honesty, what happens in my marriage and family so that other people can relate and learn from my mistakes or at best, people won’t feel so alone in what they are dealing with in their life. The challenges I push people to get involved in are merely efforts I’m making in my own life to grow and mature.
We are not a picture perfect family. We are just trying to win at home. Sometimes, when you are seeking to get a win, you suffer defeat. To use a football analogy, you get pushed back a few yards or out of bounds. You can either stay down in defeat, or you can get up and try again. Even though my family loses yardage from time to time, we continue to make our way down the field. We stretch ourselves to continually reach the goal line and we don’t give up.
What does the picture of your family look like? Are you genuinely smiling and at peace or is your portrait just a pretense? If it’s authentic, then I congratulate you for working hard to create a loving family. If your picture is masking what’s really happening behind closed doors, then I want to ask you what you can do to improve the validity or the quality of your image.
It could be a matter of paying more attention to your loved ones. Think of activities you could do with your spouse or kids that would show them that you love to be with them. It’s easy to say it, but it’s harder to do. The issues could also go deeper than that and require family counseling. What’s preventing you from taking that step? I’ve sought counseling for a variety of different issues and each time I’ve grown as a person and my family has benefitted from the results. In my opinion, it’s not a sign of weakness to go to counseling, but to not go.
Do what you need to do to care for and nurture your family. You might never get a perfect picture but you have a better chance of winning at home.