The recent suicides of two high-profile personalities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, were tragic, heartbreaking and ripe with life lessons.
An iconic American fashion designer, Kate had built a legacy that most people would be proud of. Anthony, celeb chef, author and TV personality, was considered one of the most influential chefs in the world.
Their suicides got me thinking about our tendency to judge people by what we see on the outside. Truth is, every person carries within them a world only they are privy to. No matter how rich, successful, or popular someone may be, they bear scars that are invisible to the rest of the world.
How we live so much of our lives on social media points to this truth.
Someone posts that they’re flying to Bali for a vacation and we feel the sharp twinge of envy. I can barely make rent this month.
Someone is celebrating their fifteenth wedding anniversary, candles, champagne, and all and it reawakens our fear. I’ll never find a love like that. Not in this lifetime.
A friend’s friend posts about how lucky she feels that she landed her dream job and the pain of being stuck in a dead-end job jabs at us. I hate my job but I have these stupid bills to pay. My life sucks.
Someone lands a book deal and is paid a handsome advance, and all your insecurities rush to the surface. Who do I think I am to write anything, leave alone find a publisher??!! I’m a big fat loser.
If you’re not careful, you can very quickly spiral down the dumps and feel like your life is one big mistake. And that you’re a total failure.
Here’s an important truth to remember: People’s insides don’t always match their outsides.
You’re reading a Facebook post. A third of a chapter in the book of their lives. You’re not reading the entire story of their lives. And you’re comparing the chapter they are currently in to the one you are currently in. Our chapters don’t always match. Everyone’s script is different.
We looked at Kate and Anthony’s outsides and saw glittering success, money, fame…But these two people were desperate and despairing souls who were in deep, deep pain. Pain so great they didn’t see a way out. Except to end it.
Let this serve as a wake-up call to us. When someone is sharing a piece of success or joy, please realize that it is one aspect of their lives. When you’re grieving, find the strength to tell yourself that this is where you are TODAY. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be here FOREVER–even if it feels like it in the moment.
Everything in the universe is temporary, everything changes.
Believe in change for the better. Trust that help is available. Hold on to hope. Live life like it matters. And it will. Most importantly, tell the truth of how you feel to someone. Even if it is ONE person. Make sure that at least one person sees who you are on the inside.