Think about the last picture you posted on Instagram. How much time did you spend finding the perfect filter and then editing the filter until the image appeared just as you wanted it to? How long did it take you to come up with a witty caption or fun hashtags? How much did you worry about what people would think of the image you posted? How many times did you check to see how many likes the picture got after you posted it?
And why did all of that matter?
It’s pretty simple to make an image look a lot better than the original. It’s also pretty simple to make our lives appear differently than they actually are by filtering not only our posts but what we post, how we present ourselves to others, and what we say that other people can hear or read. Simply put, much of the time, we live filtered lives.
But what would it look like to live an unfiltered life?
If you’ve never read anything by Jen Hatmaker, please change that as soon as possible. You should also follow her on Instagram. She’s seriously hilarious—and in a bold way. She doesn’t care if you think she’s too this or too that. She posted something on Instagram recently that really hit home with me. She reminded us that we need to “be more concerned about being honest than being admired” and that we don’t need “another slick, prepackaged messenger designed for Instagram quotes.” She said a lot of other things that I would love to include but don’t want to get in trouble for plagiarizing, so I’ll sum it up like this: Don’t try to mask your thoughts or who you are because you think that other people are going to judge you or think differently of you.
Let’s stop living in pretty filters all of the time and, instead, live authentically.
Let your voice be heard. Don’t constantly try to keep everything you say politically correct. Let your style match your personality. Chase your own dreams. Speak truth. Stand up for what you believe in. Fight for what’s right, even if it’s not popular. Choose love over hate. Be kind, not mean. Use words of encouragement instead of gossip. Be bold enough to be the real you—the one who doesn’t have to hide behind a constant filter.
After all, you’re more gorgeous than Valencia or Sierra or X-Pro II or any of the others could ever make you appear.