I have this feeling that if we keep telling each other that everything we see on social media is fake, we will loose our desire to champion for each other.
I’m not talking about the stuff we see that is controlled by PR reps and business managers. We know there are more half truths and photoshopped lives than not coming from those sources and we aren’t fooled. I’m talking about the beautiful stuff “regular” people share. The vignettes of candlelit alters, the flowers casually placed in an antique vase on a Restoration Hardware table, the (3rd) tropical vacation (this year), the twinkle lights and on-point brow line.
Why do we have to label them as fake to let ourselves be okay with our laundry piles and sticky floors and flaking out on appointments and never having gone on a tropical vacation?
You guys, we are far too complex as humans to not have more than enough room in our lives for the spectrum of our “real” to be as wide as the Montana skyline. If we want to be better champions for each other, I firmly believe we have to stop sour-grapes-ing or dismissing our way through our feeds. Though we have been told “don’t feel inadequate. They have big problems too” it isn’t exactly an affirmation of our own beautiful life. It’s sort of like that song about peeing in someone’s yard to make yours greener.
I get why we do it. We do it to remind ourselves that it’s okay that our lives don’t look as “perfect” as the 3″ x 3″ picture you see on your iPhone. We do it to self-comfort, to let ourselves off the hook, to try our best to be happy with the perfect imperfection and messiness of our own lives and IT IS OKAY TO WANT THAT PEACE. I do not believe that we have to label something as fake or less-than to be okay with our realness.
What if we all got really good at narrowing our focus to one tiny corner of our world that we thought was really beautiful. Crop out the dirt just to the right of the frame if it helps you focus on the sweetness of it all. Even better, what if we stopped what we were doing just long enough to CREATE a tiny beautiful corner with all our hearts? And if the picture you get is the moment of chaos and the look on her face makes your heart smile big, share THAT picture. The “imperfect” one. Let’s just let it be what it is. Perfectly staged or otherwise (because, as you may have noticed, staged “imperfection” is a thing now. No wonder we’re confused!)
I want to cheer beauty on more without feeling the need to define it or minimize it or trim down to fit what feel like my own shortcomings. I want to say to that instagram account that always looks perfect, “GO YOU!” I want to honor the beautiful and the hard and the real and I want to remember that they are not mutually exclusive. We do not have to make someone else’s beauty wrong in order for our not-beautiful parts to be at home here in this life too. We need all of it. The whole spectrum. Every lesson and resting place and adventure and agony. It’s all the refiner’s fire.
We’re all practicing making our lives more beautiful and, even more so, seeing how they already are so much more beautiful than we can imagine.”