Let's talk about authenticity.

9:33 AM



O.k.

So this is not what I was going to blog about today, it really wasn't!

   There I was, minding my own business and scrolling through my Instagram feed (as I am known to do) when I saw a link to this blog post, clicked over to read it, and that's when I thought....ok.  I have to speak up.

  You see, I've thought OFTEN about this topic as it seems to be all the rage these days, but I have never felt the release to say anything because it felt to me like authenticity only fell into two categories:

1.  The beautiful, flawless, well-curated blog or Instagram feed showcasing outdoor adventure, high fashion, impeccable decorating and tantalizing food.  Everything is 100% perfect 100% of the time, leaving you feeling like your own life is a sorry excuse for even an attempt at beauty.

OR......

2.  Telling all, showing all, revealing all.  The good, bad, and the ugly.  Images that nobody wants to see, and stories nobody needs to hear.  The ways your spouse drives you crazy, your Christian rage at yoga pants or Starbucks, or mom-shaming others about breastfeeding, home births, baby wearing, non-vaccs, homeschool, whatever.  Just the opposite of life-giving.

   And to me, authenticity was neither of those things.  And so I really didn't know what there was left to say about it.  My heart cried "False!" whenever I read something about authenticity, but I really didn't know how to put any of those feelings into words.  But this blog post has come the closest to saying the things I have long felt, and so just do yourself a favor and read it.

   I love how she says you don't have to air your dirty laundry (literally and figuratively) to be authentic, and we all know that "being authentic" means so much more than just showing a picture of the dirty dishes every now and then.  But there is a DIFFERENCE between airing dirty laundry and presenting the idea that you don't even have any dirty laundry to begin with.

  And sure, we all love a well-curated photo now and then.  Who doesn't?  Why do you think magazines are so popular?  But something to remember is that "creating a brand" has worked well and worked for decades WHEN YOU'RE SELLING SOMETHING.  The only problem with our generation is that, instead of using it as a helpful tool in sales or business, we are doing that with ourselves, our families, our lives.  WE want to be the brand.  But what are we selling?

 She goes on to say that the best question to ask yourself before posting is,

“Are you sharing this to build better community or to build up yourself?”

Wow.  What a huge challenge.  I know I have failed at that many times.

She also says, "Ask yourself: if someone who had only known you online were to come spend a week in your home, do you think they would be at all surprised at the person they would see? If your answer is yes, ask yourself which parts of yourself would be most surprising, and how your might more accurately represent them moving forward."

   And I would also add, that a red flag for me in my own online life is when I catch myself not wanting to post something that may be really special to me, but it doesn't make the cut because it doesn't fit my "theme".  That is always kind of signal to me to loosen up, let go a little, and try and remember that I want to be about offering something of value to the people around me, not just "creating a brand." Because really, if that isn't what this is all about, then this is just a high school popularity contest all over again.  And ain't nobody got time for that.

Anyway.

  I feel like I could go on and on, but I have kids who need to do preschool and a really messy house and laundry waiting and I need to take a shower (how's that for authenticity? just kidding.) so I digress.

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this!




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