Let’s Be Honest.
Every one of us has wanted life to be different in some way at some point: different house, different friends, different history, different body. The list could continue and is unique for each person.
As a 14-year-old, I feel the pressure to be someone I’m not every day. I want to be accepted by my peers, appreciated by adults and teachers, and successful in ways society deems worthy.
Who am I Really?
We often portray our lives, our beliefs, our activities, and our history in ways we think will attract others. We so desperately want to feel known and loved by them. By creating an image for ourselves we think others will like, we are effectively closing people off from seeing our real selves. They can’t see us for who we are because we have built an image of who we are not.
Cooler on the Internet
Social media is a prominent part of my life. I think it can be pretty great; we find things we like, places we want to visit, things we want to do, movements we want to get involved in. We can hear amazing stories and connect with people we love or would like to know better.
We can also control what part of our life the internet gets to see. Maybe we want the world to see our goofy, fun side, or our serious, “I know what I’m talking about” side, or our artsy, “everything in my life happens to be the same color” side. The internet only gets to see a few sides of us; the parts of us we are willing to share.
We need to be aware that social media platforms are places for us to create our own identity. We get to choose the “coolest” parts of our life to show. Meaning, the late nights studying instead of being with friends usually do not show up in my instagram feed, and that’s O.K. We don’t need a picture for everything. We don’t need the world to see every single aspect of our life, because the truth is, the world probably doesn’t care about your late night study session. But, we do need to realize the power social media has, and we do need to understand that we are usually not getting (or giving) the full story.
Loving My Real Life
Sometimes my real life is messy. My mom and I don’t always get along. I wake up at 5:30 every morning to catch a city bus to school and don’t get home again until it’s dark, then I spend the rest of the night doing homework. My skin breaks out and I have bad hair days. My room is almost always a disaster. I’m clumsy and forget things. I struggle to make it to youth group because of volleyball practice, and reading my Bible right now is a discipline I’m not very disciplined at. None of these things may be worthy of a pretty instagram picture, but each one of them is the story of me at 14. The real me. My real life.
Taking Down Our Walls
Emotional walls and barriers are easy to create but hard to take down. We put them up in fear of what others may think of us. They feel safe because we can control what part of us we put out into the world, but our wall of protection can prevent real connection.
Imagine a physical wall – a circular, tall, stone one surrounding you. Yes, it is safe to some degree, but it is also lonely. Walls provide protection, but prevent connection. Although we may not be as vulnerable without them, we are also not connected to others. You can hear the distant voices, but building community and trust is nearly impossible when you can not physically interact with others.
If we want strong, deep relationships, it is our responsibility to take down our walls, and be a safe place for others to do the same.
We need help. I need help. Deconstruction is not a one person job. It is hard, tiring, and grueling. If we want to take down these emotional barriers and become transparent we need to ask others to fight the battle alongside us. Open up to a few of your closest friends and family members. Share your struggles and let them walk alongside you as you begin your journey towards transparency, strong relationships, self-discovery, and all the good that comes along the way with being honest.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus has overcome the world! Yay! All the times we fall short of the world’s standards we can rest on the promise that Jesus has overcome! All of the times that we aren’t accepted, every negative word we hear, every struggle we face on this world, God is walking alongside us. He is “The Overcomer.” He knows you, loves you, sees you, and calls you enough. He has overcome this world already, and He did it for you. We do not live lives of perfection, that is true, but we are His. We are not the world’s. We. Are. His.
So, let’s be honest, know who we really are, be cool on the internet :), love our real life, take down our walls, and know He has overcome our world.
Choosing to love and be real about life’s imperfections,
About Maya DaSilva:
I’m a high-school freshman trying to glorify God in the sometimes crazy seasons I walk through. I intended to spend more time on this post, but it’s finals week and I procrastinated. Yay, we love some good procrastination!
-That’s my real life for y’all.