From the Outside Looking In

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Lisa Holt

From the outside looking in, it appears she has everything; the perfect career, beautiful home, new car in the garage, vacations all over the world.  What you don’t see is her loneliness, the table for one, the empty rooms in her beautiful home.  She was so busy making a life she forgot to live.

 

From the outside looking in, he is the perfect example of a successful man.  His businesses are profitable beyond his wildest imaginings, he is in all the “right” social circles, his wife appears to be perfect and his two children are both honor roll students.  What you don’t see is his battle with depression, the demons he fights daily and the ones that rob him of sleep.

 

From the outside looking in, she is the most popular girl in school.  She is the cheerleader, prom queen, captain of every club she is involved with (and there are many), she smiles at everyone and her warmth seems infectious.  What you don’t see is her constant battle with body image.  The beautiful young woman we see is not the one she sees looking back in the mirror.  She starves herself to achieve what she believes society demands of a young woman’s appearance, the pressure she allows to be put on her causes migraine headaches and sleepless nights.

 

From the outside looking in, her family is the epitome of the all-American family.  Unlike many of her friends, her parents are together, her family intact.  They take trips together and post wonderful pictures on social media of gorgeous scenery and beautiful smiles. What you don’t see is that her father is an alcoholic.  She lives in fear every day of his drinking and the actions caused by substance abuse, of angry words that cut to the bone, of physical abuse which leaves scars years after the wounds have healed.

 

From the outside looking in, we can always find greener grasses. But many times, there are weeds among the fields that are well hidden.  The dawn of a New Year brings resolutions and promises we make to ourselves, usually for ourselves, and there is nothing wrong with that. Self-improvement should always be a priority.  But, this year, imagine the impact we could have on the world by making a few changes in how we treat and see others.  Things are not always as they appear to be, and everyone has a story.  Let 2018 be the year we listen to their story.  Let us be thankful for our blessings and look beyond our own lives and see into the lives of others.  Be the friend that listens, be the stranger that comforts.  Let’s step out of our comfort zones and be a light.  Happy New Year!