I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love how it connects me to so many wonderful people and that I can stay close to out of state relatives. I love how I can learn and grow and be inspired and encouraged by others.
On the flip side, I dislike how I only see the beautiful, put together pictures of people’s lives and miss what’s inside the persons’ heart. I loathe how I start comparing my own self to others. Comparison is just awful. I also dislike that I can’t appreciate the depth of struggles each person has been through because we tend to not flaunt that side of us.
We have a fear to be vulnerable, but an even bigger fear to be transparent. To show the messy, broken parts of ourselves or where we came from to get where we are.
Yet, this is the place that we so badly need to share in order to truly connect with others. We are longing for connections that are deeper than play dates with friends while we check our phones and snap cute pictures. We long to see one another for the whole person we each are. Not just the “social media” side of those we love and follow. Amazing things happen when we get real and raw. We realize that we are not alone. And in this generation of social media craze, we need to know that no one has it all together. No one’s life is exempt from struggle. From heartache, from disappointment.
As a women’s speaker, I am passionate about uniting women together, because only then are we stronger and happier. Empowered women, empower women. So, I teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers who aren’t afraid to get REAL. We are going to share with you and be transparent so that we can connect with you! I hope you are just as inspired as I am by them. I will link their social media accounts so you can follow all of these lovely gals who I consider true examples of genuine, beautiful women who are leading others to freedom by always keeping it real!!!
BLOGGER #1 – Fitness Enthusiast Bree Carver – Instagram: @bodybybree2 / Website: http://www.BodybyBree.com
“In the world we live in, we are constantly comparing ourselves. I have been a victim of this myself. After I had my first baby, I was really down on myself because my body didn’t bounce right back like other fit moms I was following. I felt pressure to work out as hard as I could to get my post baby body back since I was a personal trainer. However, I was struggling. I was suffering from baby blues, I was overwhelmed, I was having a hard time nursing my baby, and my whole world was turned upside down. I didn’t understand how other moms made it look so easy. I felt like a failure as a mom, wife, and personal trainer. To be honest, I felt like I lost my identity. I leaned on my friends and family and told them how overwhelmed I felt and they all said they went through the exact same thing! My initial thought was “why doesn’t anyone talk about this?!” I wanted to help support other moms and show them that it’s okay not to have the perfect body after you have a baby, and to love yourself completely and enjoy the miracle you just made. Give yourself some grace and show yourself the same amount of love you would your own little girl. All of the sudden I started feeling a lot better and learned how to thrive in my new life as a mom. Fast forward to my second baby and I was a lot more transparent in sharing my stuggles and how it’s okay to take time for your body and your baby and I felt so much love and support and realized WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER!! Everyone struggles, everyone has times where they feel like a failure and they are comparing themselves to someone else’s highlight reel. I love the support and encouragement you get from real moms who understand and have been there. That’s what it’s all about. Helping others! We are so much deeper than our “instagram life”. Hopefully this helps a new mom struggling right now. I’m here for you, and you are not alone!!!!” -Bree
Blogger # 2 Elly Brown, Fashion + Lifestyle Blog -Uptown With Elly Brown – Instagram: @uptownwithellybrown / web: http://www.uptownwithellybrown.com
“The hardest, and yet most rewarding time in my life was during my miscarriage last year. Hardest, because of the pain, the fear and the unknown of what was going on. I have never experienced a loss so close, and having a miscarriage felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest. Yet, at the same time it was the most rewarding (maybe rewarding isn’t the right word). But I have never experienced such peace, nor have I ever felt God so close and so near. For the first time in my life can I say I truly felt the peace of God that passes all understanding. Because when I look back at it, I still can’t explain or put it into words,of how I got through it all. All I can say is BUT God.” – Elly
BLOGGER #3 Hosanna – A Well Traveled Mom, Travel and Mom Blogger –Blog: http://www.awelltraveledmom.com Instagram- @awelltraveleedmom
This is my beautiful friend Hosanna. She has been through tremendous tragedy this past year as she lost her love and the father of her son to suicide. She shares on her journey through grief:
“They call us Survivors, people who have lost someone to suicide. I suppose it’s an accurate description because mostly all you do is try to survive each day, wrestle with grief, and learn to live life with your new normal. I chose to travel the world with my son to escape from having to settle into a routine where the lack of his presence would be noticed everyday. We’ve seen incredible things, had amazing adventures, met beautiful people, and are learning to not only survive each day but to truly live and appreciate every moment.” – Hosanna
Even while facing the hardest thing imaginable, she is the most selfless person I know. Her heart is filled with compassion for the less fortunate. She collected baby items for orphanages and packed them in suitcases and delivered them, all the while, caring for her toddler son and walking through grief.
BLOGGER #4 – Marian Elizabeth – Instagram @marianelizabeth
“For so long I often thought me being vulnerable was me showing my weakness.. Now as a Mom to Three small boys, I see it as incredible strength!
We praise others for being vulnerable and when it comes to ourselves we think people will view us as weak. So not the case! It’s completely opposite.
In high school I had poor body image. When you tell yourself something long enough, you start to believe it! Which led to a very unhealthy relationship and obsession with food and eating (I didn’t even see it at the time)
It took changing my mindset from skinny to healthy. Eating for health, and not a size. Once I shifted my mindset from a size, look, or number, to “what could this food do for my health and fueling my body?” Is when it turned around.
It took time, me messing up (failing forward) it took me intentionally capturing my thoughts and most importantly it was me giving permission to love myself regardless.
We can always take a brave step in the right direction each day, and overtime get to the other side. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my own skin.” – Marian
BLOGGER #5 – Brittany Sewell – Best in Blogs Instagram: @bestinblogs
“A struggle that I have really always had and have just been really pressing into the Lord about is discontentment. Always looking for the next new and exciting thing, rather than staying where my feet are, enjoying the moment with a thankful heart. I feel like I keep missing things because I’m not really truly present. The victory has been realizing the struggle! The awareness has helped me be more mindful of where I am and what God wants from me in that particular situation. I’m a long way from overcoming this but I’ve come a long way from where I used to be!” 🙂 -Brittany
Blogger #6 – Me! Jessica Liv JessicaLiv.com – Instagram @jessica_liv_
As a single mom of a toddler, I have really wrestled with hopelessness and doubt at times. “Will this ever get easier?” The hours and days seem so long sometimes, and I have felt overwhelmed with responsibilities. I have allowed this to affect my attitude, and from there it can spiral downwards. In order to combat this hard season, staying in the gym 5 to 6 times a week greatly helps me reduce my stress and gives me more energy and motivation. I find I am overall healthier with physical fitness as a big part of my life– spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally–and I’ve had to learn to make it become my lifestyle. Although it is something I truly enjoy, I need it just as much! – Jessica
THANK YOU so much for reading this! I hope you enjoyed hearing how some of my favorite women struggle and yet, you would never be able to tell from social media– but they are REAL– yes, just like you and I!!!
Comment below with who you related to and if you are willing– what is something you are struggling with? I’d love to hear more and connect with you! And be sure to go FOLLOW the lovely women above–you won’t regret it!