authentic adjective au·then·tic | \ə-ˈthen-tik: not false or imitation : REAL, ACTUAL
: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character
How’s your relationship with social media? Does it make you better? Does it lift you up? If you’re anything like me you’ve found a lot of good out there: tips on how to make life easier, healthier, simpler, more exciting! But you’ve probably also found some bad: trolls, political divisiveness, picture-perfect people that make you feel so small. And while I can CHOOSE to pass on social media, unfollow the bad and try not to compare myself to the perfect, it’s still out there… in the world!
I keep stumbling across and fighting against this need to curate the life I put out for everyone to see. Whether it’s on social media or in front of peers at my kids’ schools, this perceived need to portray myself as something (good-competent- capable-etc) is strong. I sometimes even find myself trying to do this with the people who know me best; my husband, family, even God. Why is it so hard to be vulnerable?
For me it two-fold: FEAR and PRIDE. I’m AFRAID people might see the real me and not approve. I’m too PROUD to allow that to happen. It’s a terrible way to live. It robs me of true connection in relationships and even keeps me from seeing growth opportunities for myself and taking them.
I follow some really amazing people on social media who do a phenomenal job of laying it all out there. A lot of them are SO real it sometimes rubs me the wrong way. And sometimes, even when it looks a lot different from my way of life, it’s incredibly refreshing! One friend is so real in her struggles and finding strength in her faith it’s challenging, refreshing and makes me feel I know her better (and she’s a friend in the tangible world, too)!
So here’s my challenge to you and to myself: Let’s get real! Let’s put useful, beautiful, creative things out there in the world. BUT, let’s also let our freak flags fly! Let the struggle show, let the mundane show, let the need show. That way we can use this incredible platform of instant communication to benefit each other. Isn’t that really the most beautiful thing of all?
P.S. I’ve got a really yummy healthy swap recipe coming your way just in time for the holidays!