We all wear masks to hide parts of who we are from other people. We don’t want people to see into the depths of our hearts. We don’t want them to see our struggles. We want to put on a brave face and show people the best versions of ourselves. Society strives for and looks for perfection. Social media has proven that. We post the best pictures of ourselves to paint ourselves in the best light possible.
I’m guilty of doing that too, but when I look back at my social media accounts and look at the pictures that I’ve shared I notice that majority of my pictures (especially of me) are not actually very flattering even in my own eyes. Then I look again and realize that the pictures show the real me. The me that is not always perfect. The authentic me. Although my social media might show the real me on the outside, it doesn’t always fully show who I really am on the inside, the parts of me that not very many people get to see.
I had many masks on as I grew up
Growing up you would probably have considered me a “Goody Two-Shoes”. I never really got in trouble in school. I did my best to follow the rules. I was a good Christian girl. On the outside. In public. At home though, life wasn’t perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I had a really good life, but it wasn’t all flowers and rainbows all the time. Whose life is? I read when I was supposed to be doing chores. I lied to my parents. I got into fights with my siblings. I had fights with my parents. I got punished. I wasn’t perfect. I’m still not perfect. I struggled, but I rarely shared those struggles with anyone. Still do. I’m on a journey of learning to be more honest and vulnerable with the people around me. I’ve also been learning to be more honest with myself. It’s hard and often scary, but it’s also rewarding!
Authenticity in being myself
One of my favorite definitions of the word authentic is: made or done the same way as the original. The example the dictionary gives is authentic Mexican food. If Mexican food is made authentically, it is made like the original. When we look at the creation story in Genesis 1, it says that God created man in his image. If God is the original, and we are created like him, and if we live according to the life God has planned for us, then we are living a life authentic to who God created us to be. We don’t always live life according to God’s plan, but when we do we can freely live as our authentic selves. Now, what DOES it look like to be authentically me?
For me, being authentic means to be true to who I am. Not just select parts, but in ALL areas. It’s being true to EVERY part of who I am! It means not changing who I am just to be accepted by those around me. It means not pretending to like something even if I don’t. It means I am not ashamed of the things I like or am passionate about! It means being vulnerable and honest with myself and others. It means being REAL! And most importantly, it means being true to who GOD created me to be!
God created me unique! He gave me my likes and dislikes. He gave me things to be passionate about. It’s okay that I am different from the people around me because what fun would that be if we were all the same? There are times in life where we are surrounded by people that we will feel like we don’t fit in with. Where our passions and likes may look very different. It might be easier to try to fit in, but it is so much more rewarding if you stay true to who you are. Even if it looks different.
So who am I?
I am the girl who dances in the comfort of her room. I have a love for baseball. I love the country and small town life! I’m not the biggest fan of big cities. I don’t like cleaning. I procrastinate.
I love camping and the outdoors. I rarely drink coffee. I go kind of crazy sometimes. I am sarcastic. I love movies. I love country music. I am a hopeless romantic. I cry. I laugh. I stress out. I worry. I am a daydreamer. I have hopes, dreams, and desires. I am a daughter, sister, grand-daughter, and niece. I am a child of God! I am loved. I am a daughter of the King! I am ME! I am fully, authentically, truly me! I am the me that God created me to be!
Now the question is, who are you?