There’s a profile on Instagram called Sociality Barbie, she pokes fun at those Instagrammers who post highly stylized, artsy photos that are far from reality. She presents a sterotype that we see all over social media. One that we easily fall into. One that is full of surface, showing our best face at the best angle, showing only our truly beautiful, inspiring, and funny moments, all while hiding behind the mask we create to find acceptance. I’ve done it, and I’m pretty sure most of us have.
I chuckle at this one- “true community & authenticity.”
I know that it’s very unlikely that Facebook or Instagram will suddenly start showing a surge of people sharing the true faces of our not so perfect, messy lives. No one wants to see a picture of me all grumpy with my kids at 6AM because I really just need an hour or two of silence before I’m human. And let’s be honest, no one wants to see the dirty dishes in my kitchen sink at 10AM. I’m quite certain that no want wants to see me with my make-up half smeared off from crying in the corner of the dining room at 3PM because I just couldn’t handle one more thing today.
I get that we share our best and finest moments. I understand.
But you do realize that behind every shiny moment of perfection or inspiration or humor, there are 100 moments that aren’t so pretty.
Life is messy like that.
So what if, we were just a little more honest. What if we dared to show our weakness, our messiness, our less than perfect moments, and our very real and ever-present struggles?
Even just a little.
What if we were VULNERABLE?
How courageous is that! How beautifully vulnerable!
And that is what this blog has been to me, a place of vulnerability.
It’s that “living out loud” thing I talk about a lot. I do it because it’s good for my heart to express the things I’m experiencing; and I do it because I feel like it’s a gift to others when I extend my hand in the way of words and say, “You are not alone. I’ve walked through hard things too.”
Vulnerability in social media can only go so deep, I realize that. Not everyone feels safe enough or secure enough to handle what might happen with public vulnerability. I’m not suggesting that let it all hang out to just anyone.
I believe that vulnerability with those you love and trust is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give to yourself and to others. Vulnerability allows us to draw close to others, and in doing so to draw closer to God. Because I truly believe that some of the greatest revelations of God’s Love come to us through the gift of relationships.
I challenge you today to find some space to practice vulnerability with someone you trust. Knowing you are not alone brings incredible strength to your journey and the journey of those you love. Offer a very simple “me too” as they communicate a personal struggle.
Let me be very clear that “me too” doesn’t mean saying “I know exactly how you feel” because honestly we can’t ever know “exactly” how anyone feels. “Me too” can be communicated in many different ways that all allow for the person sharing their heart to know that they are seen and heard. The true value here is communicating to another, “I see your pain. I have experienced pain. I’m sorry for your pain.”
Are you willing to show up and be seen for the sake of loving others and growing closer to God?
(I listened to Nadia Boltz-Weber this week talk about this very thing, it’s worth the listen- HERE)