Is there anyone else out there that feels like all this speak about being “authentic” is then so heavily countered with pressure to project a shiny, polished image of what we think others want to see, rather than our true self?
I like “pretty” Instagram feeds, as much as the next person, but I fear that the trends that suggest we should only use one filter, or set out our photos in a certain order, or put up pretty pictures that have less to do with us and more to do with our image or our message – dilute who we are at our core, and instead promote the lie that we must be “perfect” to be successful, or “pretty” to be accepted and followed or shared.
I have a bit of a love hate relationship with social media (and hashtags and emojis!) I understand their benefits and their reach for my business and my blog, but at times I feel a slave to the never-ending pressure to share photos in various forms over various platforms. And I worry that at times I spend too much time editing those images so they are eye-catching or at least not ugly. And I barely have a “following” to worry about! Surprisingly lawyers just aren’t as popular as tv shows suggest! Ha!
Then a neighbour with a teenage daughter tells me just this weekend that apparently only “old people” use emojis anyway! And here I was just getting the hang of the annoying little icons! Sigh…
It is tiring.
Thank goodness we have just had a four-day weekend to celebrate Easter! It has given me time to snap a whole lot of images and flat lays so I have the whole of April and May planned out….
For me, Easter is about taking time out and taking stock.
Good Friday is a time to stop and be still, to reflect on undeserved Grace and unconditional Love. Easter Saturday is a day for an open home and an open heart, full of egg painting traditions passed on to friends, hosted at our table full of mess, chatter, food and wine. Easter Sunday is a day of celebrating the promise of new life, understanding forgiveness and being thankful (usually while eating indulgent food!). It is time focussed on family and friends.
But most of all, to me, Easter is a reminder that God sees right through us to our very heart. None of the trappings matter. We are exposed. Our very core, the places where we hold deep secrets and dark thoughts. The things that light us up. The hum we feel when we are aligned with our purpose. The good things and the bad. The experiences that are etched into our memories and those we have forgotten. God sees it all. We can’t hide behind any highlight reel before our Creator.
That confronts me and comforts me all at the one time.
In this place, I don’t feel any pressure. I can be me. There just isn’t any point being anything else. Here my past is my past and my future is beyond even my wildest dreams.
Easter is about new beginnings. The hope of the future. The promise that we can put to death our old life and step into a new life. We are empowered to live beyond ourselves. Our weaknesses become our strengths and our talents are multiplied. Despite difficulty we can have peace that passes our own understanding. Something good, even great, can come from terrible things.
New beginnings can be exciting and daunting all at the one time. It is a time where we can let go of what we have been holding onto, so that we can grab onto the next thing with both hands. Sometimes there is literally a leap of faith in between, when there is nothing but air and thrill of adrenaline thumping a beat in our ears. That slow-motion suspense – of what will happen next…
Or it can just be a gentle nudging. Like a parent distracting a child away from one thing to the next. Sometimes we hold so tight to certain things that we lose sight of other opportunities, or things that are just more important. Just like a kid who fights back when a parent wants to take something away – until we see what else is on offer, only then do we loosen our grip and move on.
You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore – William Faulkner
Is it time for a new horizon for you? Do you need to let go? Are you living the way you want to? Are you spending too much time with distractions and not enough time living your passions?
What is driving you – pressure or purpose? Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Your life. Lived only the way you can live it. So just be you.