Be authentic online so you can be true to yourself

Kelli Wilson

I recently realized that I had fallen into the online imaging “trap”, if you will, where I was expected to be someone that I was not, a Stepford wife of sorts. A world of tidy houses, beautifully adorned smiling children, and perfectly coiffed hair. A world where you do not discuss polarizing issues and are expected to be happy, content, and positive no matter what the world has thrown at you.  A world full of caricatured images so as to distort reality.

I found myself depressed and afraid to admit that I didn’t have it all together. I didn’t know how to do this mom thing that seemed so effortless to everyone else.  I was letting myself be fooled into believing that Susie homemaker had it all figured out, and that I was somehow less than because I hadn’t. I couldn’t admit to my failures as a parent, wife, or homemaker because I would be perceived as weak and therefore defective somehow. I couldn’t talk about issues that were important to me if they would potentially rub someone the wrong way. The people-pleaser part of me was terrified to upset anybody with an opposing viewpoint. Keep things saccharine, don’t rock the boat.

Then I decided to take a stand. To simply be me and let the cards fall where they may. If we as a society portray ourselves as something we are not simply for generic “likes” and “shares” we are doing ourselves and everyone else a disservice. Exposing and shining the light on all of the uncomfortable parts, like that two inch long hair that keeps popping up on your left nipple, refreshes the soul in such a breathtakingly way. Maybe then we can begin to truly love ourselves and others, to listen without judgment, to speak without fear of retort.

Being a people-pleaser is not what we are called to do. We are not here to live up to others expectations but rather to live our truest selves. Fearlessly standing up for basic human rights, unabashedly exposing our fallibility in order to give others permission to take off their societal masks without trepidation or shame. Just be you.

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