SO, have you ever met someone that was just the whole package. Smart, funny, beautiful, popular, tons of friends, everything. So many positives, no negatives in sight, and you are just longing to be like them. Or even worse, BE them. 

As you gaze upon this person (insert name here) you hear something, and then have an epiphany. You hear this person saying some horrible things about someone else, and completely tearing someone else apart. Then slowly, right in front of you, you see this person go from (insert all positives from above) to less and less appealing. You see them go from someone you envied, to someone you felt bad for. In that moment you truly and deeply realize that beauty on the outside, is nothing compared to beauty on the inside.

All of the feelings described above came from something that happened in the garden when I was shooting these photos.

When I was walking around in so much beauty, I looked down in front of me to see a huge, dead, rat

Have you ever walked in something so beautifully peaceful to look down to something so ugly

Let’s chat.IMG_1782IMG_1924IMG_1911I’ve struggled with caring about the outside for most of my life. I started wearing makeup when I was 12, and never really stopped. Though I don’t think there is anything wrong with caring, grooming, and being put together, the part that gets confusing is when the line between caring, and obsessing gets blurry. You’ll know the line is blurry when you look at someone else and immediately judge them off of appearance. When you hang out or date someone that is aesthetically pleasing but doesn’t have the best character. When you won’t leave the house without being perfectly put together (guilty), and when you start to tear others down that don’t live up to this world’s standard of beauty.

As I was walking through this beautiful garden Arturo stopped quickly and said “don’t kook down”, which of course I proceeded to do. As I gazed down on this swollen, dead, disgusting creature laying in the middle of all this beauty. I came to the realization that even when everything seems perfect, when everyone seems perfect, when LIFE seems perfect for EVERYONE else, it’s not. 

There is always a little bit of ugly

A little sadness

A little dispair

A little confusion


Self consciousnesses


Longing for total beauty and completeness

Longing to be loved for who they are, not what they do. People want to be loved, not for who they know, how much money they have, or how they do their hair…

People want to be loved  IMG_1737IMG_2095IMG_1883IMG_2067IMG_1817As I’m sitting here typing this, I am reminded of something so important and something so vital to this narrative.

Not only do people want to be loved for who they are on the inside, they want to be loved despite the ugly. Despite their past, and despite their future mistakes.

We want to be loved because of our dead rat, in response to it, instead of it.

We all want to fill that rat shaped hole inside of us that is filled with gossip, tearing each other down, and just plain messing up. We want to fill that hole with the knowledge that we are wanted and worth it .IMG_1734IMG_1832All of those things you hate about yourself and just wish you could change, or those ever present thoughts swirling around your head that just won’t let up. These insecurities of the ugliness and fear of self doubt, create that rat to get bigger, uglier, and a whole lot meaner.

instead of cleaning up the ugly, we sit in its shadow and just hope it goes away. Instead of staring that rodent right in the face, we turn away from it and let it lead us to more Ugly.

We sit in its shadow, hoping, and wishing it won’t turn around and that maybe it won’t notice us. That way we won’t notice it.

But why? 

Because it is so much easier to accept our negatives, instead of turning them into positives.IMG_1726IMG_1729IMG_2074Because why would we change something that is so familiar, so present, and almost comforting.

Because tearing others down is easier than lifting them up.

But, when we make fun of someone else, we are the insecure ones.

Because talking about someone behind their back is easier than have an honest conversation.

But, talking about someone behind their back, stings, cuts, and tears.

Because when we make fun of someone’s appearance, it’s easier than accepting the “flaws” we see in the mirror.

But, when we mock someone’s appearance it destroys, and causes life long hurt and doubt.

But why do we do it? 

Because it’s easy. 

IMG_1922IMG_2064Why do we choose the easy way out? Why do I choose the easy way out? Why is it so much easier to do the thing we know isn’t right.


And that is the name of my rat.  


Selfishness runs our life, our mind, our actions… We all want to seek a happier and better life, which most of the time means putting ourselves first. That’s right, I’m talking about you. But how can we break this connection between being happy and being selfish. Well as Rick Warren said in “The purpose driven life“, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less”.

That’s just it. Finding true happiness, joy, and love doesn’t come at the expense of others, but from others. It comes through the joy of someone because of a kind gesture, or from the smile of someone after you compliment their hair that day (me always). It’s in the selflessness when you put someone else before your own self, even if that means you lose.

That is how you could get rid of that rat once and for all, and how you can continue walking in your garden with no ugly in site.IMG_1891So as I type this I am reflecting on all of the rats in my life, I am reminded of how many I need to conquer face to face, and how exactly I need to do that.

I am also reminded of how many things I truly need to work on and weed out. I hope as you read this, you can decipher what pets you want in your life. A rat or a kitten laying next to you. 

If I were you I’d go with with a kitten. But, who wouldn’t?

Never forget, every story has a Silver Lining.





Posted by:Signed Silver Lining

7 replies on “In the Shadow of a Dead Rat.

  1. Wow this was really well written and I can definitely relate to this. I’m not perfect and I’ve had that rat in my life before but now I’m trying to turn it positive. Thanks for sharing. Your pictures are amazing, what a great location.

    Liked by 1 person

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