I want to preface this by saying that I do not think that blunt honesty is necessary or wise in every single situation. However, I think that many of us have fallen into the habit of stretching the truth, and not being very honest about our lives.
Before you get offended, please hear me out.
When is the last time that you honestly answered the question, "How are you doing?"
When you post a picture on Instagram, do you include the tough parts of your day in the caption, or just the highlights?
Does your tweet include a balanced view of the entire story?
Our culture makes it so easy to pretend. We can easily appear to be doing much differently than we seem to be. And I know this from first hand experience with pretending. Much like breathing, it seems to come naturally for me to 'suck it up and deal with it'.
You wipe away the smudged mascara, put a smile on, and push through whatever is going on. However, fake masks take away our opportunities to have real connections with the living, breathing humans that surround us. The idea of brokenness is something that has been coming up a lot lately. I struggle with the desire to be a perfectionist. If I could make everything right in the world, I would. I would exhaust all of my energy and resources in order to help others. That's how God wired me. I love taking care of others and helping them in hard times. When it comes to me, however, I want to appear to be put together. I don't want other people to have to worry about me, or feel the need to look after me. I want everything to be in place, so I pretend that it is.
I don't often realize that I am worsening this situation by pretending. My false pretense of being okay puts more pressure on others to do the same. No one wants to be the odd man out. If everyone else says that they are fine, most people will succumb to the pressure, and say that they are doing okay as well. We are creating our own pretend world. We are forcing people to fake the true state of their being.
The idea of being open and vulnerable with another human is intimidating. It is difficult as well to follow through with. However, it is so necessary in order to live in healthy community. When we stop wearing masks we allow others to feel more comfortable without wearing their masks. All of that to say, I am trying to work on being more bold with my life and my story. I want others to know that because of Jesus, I can offer a safe place to be real, and to be known. I am not perfect, and won't always have the most helpful responses. I make mistakes often. But, I do love people. I want people to feel able to share who they truly are without the fear of judgement.
In order to practice this idea of being more honest and real about my life I have decided that for the month of April, I will post an honest Instagram post about my day. I won't give you a second-by-second play of the entire twenty-four hours, but I want to share pieces of me. These pieces will be messy. They are not whole. But they do make up my story. Some days will be bad, and some days will be good. Most will probably be a mix of both. If this is something that is impactful for you, feel free to join in for one day, or the whole month. Use the hashtag #honestapril if you decide to join in.
There is a reason for every strength and flaw that you are made up of. You are unique, and no one else could take your place. Don't hide the beauty of who God made you to be.