I tend to write three types of blogs. One, I fulfill my weekly commitment and offer an observation and lesson. Two, I actually hit a nerve but make sure the points are general enough to not be too personal. Three, I cut right to the core with less regard to social expectations. The third normally stays saved in the drafts.
I know this about myself because I have an iPhone full of notes I’ve never shared. Many get deleted. Few get posted. Why? Because I’m afraid if I post the ones I wrote therapeutically, with no regards to audience or perception, it would be too much. It would fall outside the bounds of what you expect.
And that’s our problem...
We care so much what others think.
You know what we are missing out on because of that? Authentic connection that creates intimacy, deepens relationships, and actually heals hearts.
I noticed something odd about myself the other day. I wonder if it’s true for you, too. I like to ask Google really serious questions. I know, it sounds stupid, but I literally have typed into a search engine things like,
“Why do so many burnout in their late twenties...what to do when your doubt is too much...online test to see if you’re depressed...how to find inner peace and contentment...what to do when you feel ______.”
Crazy, right? It does sound more dramatic than it is, but I’ve literally asked a search engine personal questions I’ve never asked a human being! I found plenty of “answers,” too. At the end of the day, sure, some of it was helpful. It will never compare to a human hug and a “me too,” though.
Maybe we carry around burdens we are too scared to expose because we don’t want to appear weak. We can’t risk coming across as anything different than what we’ve already decided others will perceive us as.
What would happen, though, if we stopped caring? What would our tweets, statuses, and Instagram captions look like if we were actually honest? Would we even care to have the well cultivated online personas anymore? Imagine a post like this:
“Well, feeling pretty insecure this week. Haven’t hit my numbers at work. Really feeling the weight of this family drama. Not saving or giving as much as I should. Haven’t really felt close to God lately...”
Would people unfollow us or quickly scroll past? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not saying to go be negative all the time—just a little more honest, particularly in your real relationships.
What if it meant that others realized none of us have it all together, and it’s okay to disconnect from the guilt and shame that’s shaping the masks we wear on a daily basis?
I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying it’s a switch that can be flipped overnight. It is a better way, though, and I guarantee you will start to notice a difference over time as you choose to be just a little more honest.