What does authenticity look like to you?
I am a huge fan of being authentic in a culture that is so saturated with ‘ fake’, filters and edited photos.
…That is so saturated with fake and unattainable.
…That is so saturated with unrealistic expectations.
This impacts us whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.
We may choose to believe that social media doesn’t really affect us; that all those perfect selfies of endlessly happy and smiling perfect-looking people doesn’t bring us down. That mainstream media doesn’t rub off on us…we know it’s all fake right? If you are brave enough to be honest with yourself, I think the truth tells a very different story.
Inauthenticity sums up our culture, our media, and our social media, it goes deep and far even saturating our friendships and relationships.
Inauthenticity is a theme of this generation.
Are we scared of showing our mess?
Are we scared of judgement? Of not being good enough? Why does being good enough matter anyway?
I have chosen to go against the grain.
I challenge you to dig deep and really think how this affects you.
I will not be a victim and let inauthenticy steal real joy from my life. I haven’t always been this strong. There was a time in my life when media directly dictated my worth. My appearances and my self-worth were measured by an unattainable image. I felt I never could become or make myself good enough. No matter how hard I tried, I was still lonely, I was still not thin enough, I wasn’t trendy enough and on and on…I just couldn’t reach the bar. It was always one step too high for me.
Then the era of social media came into play. This was a whole new beast. Creating new levels of unattainable.
When will it stop? I am not against social media. But I am against the perceived image it betrays. I am not OK with young teenagers editing their photos with filters that change them to perfection. This tells them that they are not pretty enough, not flawless enough to really be seen as they are.
Isn’t that what we all desire? For others to see us?
To see us as we are. And to accept us as we are, flaws and imperfections included because they are us. We don’t get to pick and choose our character, our scars- both real and ones we carry deep inside ourselves.
It is my hearts cry that everyone will put the walls of inauthenticity down once and for all. Let’s embrace who God made us to be. Let’s embrace that we are enough. Let’s embrace that we were created for community that loves and supports each other regardless if we are hurt and broken. Or broke. Or struggling with image. Or don’t have a clean house. Or don’t have it all together.
How would our environments that we are in everyday change, if we embraced authenticity?
We are all wanting to be real, but fear holds us back.
Be the brave one.
When asked how your family is, choose to share the truth.
When asked how life is, maybe you get real and cry when you share how hard it is.
If instead of portraying perfection we gained real and meaningful connections that allowed people in to see our hurts, our fears, us, we would be linking arms instead of building walls. We would be allowing others to see that it is OK to be vulnerable. When we become vulnerable in friendships, we take a step out of our loneliness and form community. And when we support each other, and build each other up, we reinforce that we are in this together. We reinforce that we have each others’ backs. We reinforce that it’s OK to be broken, and that we will get through this together.
So be the difference.
That neighbor, that co-worker, that mom, that friend, that teenager…choose to be real and brave. Choose authenticity.