We all have walls we live behind. Sometimes, I have to actually picture myself walking with a wall around me in order to really understand what this metaphorical “wall” means. I always read about emotional walls we build, but it’s easier to imagine walking around with an actual wall to understand just how weighty that wall is. We don’t want people to see or feel our real, raw emotions. We just want people to see that picture of us going out with all our not-so-best-friends. We want people to like those things and be jealous. Don’t look at the screen like that.. At some point in our lives, there is at least one picture or post we make so that someone (or somones) feel jealous about what we’re doing.
I’ve talked in previous blogs about my dislike of pictures and just picture perfect media in general. These are the most tangible resources we have for these walls we build. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at someone’s social media page and thought, “dang they just have it.” And then I can’t stand myself. All I want to do is make my Twitter feed funnier, make my Instagram pictures prettier, and send goofier snapchats. And thus I build my wall. The fluffier I make my media, the higher my wall gets. People don’t have to see who I really am or how I really feel.
I remember one time I was actually really mad about something that I did and hated myself for doing it, but I thought I could tweet about and make it out to be funnier than how I actually felt because I wanted people to laugh and think that I didn’t care. I got a good amount of favorites and retweets, but it didn’t change the fact that I ACTUALLY felt awful about it. But I made it out to be this funny, humorous thing that I’m sure people just laughed at and moved on.
I can recall another time I made my profile picture on Facebook a picture of me and 4 friends with Ben Rector when he came to Louisville several years back. A friend commented and said, “You girls always look so happy!” When I read that I literally LOLed. I was thinking, “Little do you know I was actually an emotional mess all night over a silly boy who doesn’t even like me.”
Why do I do stuff like that? I’m SO GOOD at making my life look posh. What does this do for me, though? It doesn’t make me feel any better about a relationship I have with a friend if we take a super cute picture together. The next thing I think is that if my friend really cares about me, she’ll post it on Instagram. As if Instagram is the holiest of holy places for a person to show how much they care about you.
What do we really get out of life if we are never raw with our thoughts and feelings on the daily?
What if we had a social media website that recorded and shared the details of our lives that we try to hide? Imagine if there was a little camera on us all day and at the end of the day, it would post all of the stupid, dreadful moments from the day and we all had to watch everyone’s terrible moments. I’m chuckling just thinking about that! It would most definitely be weird, but I think it would stop us from thinking that people are squeaky clean.
We really need more people willing to share their struggles. Maybe not on social media but to share their struggles with God, themselves, and the community around them. We’ve got to stop telling people we’re doing fine in order to fill some cultural expectation. We need people wiling to admit they want to be selfish. To share the temptation of wanting to have sex all the time. To shed light on their addiction for approval. To be vulnerable about the jealousies they have against their friends.
All of these and more. A dear friend once sent me a devotional about confession and this is what stuck out to me the most, “In order to be fully loved, we must be fully known.” We can’t really have people’s fullest love for us if we don’t allow ourselves to be fully known by those people. It takes a while to get there. And I’m learning that I suck at actually letting people fully know me, but I know the weight of that truth. And that’s what I truly want out of life. To be raw and not be scared that whoever I am raw with will leave my life.