This flower looks fake, doesn’t it? But, it’s not.
Kind of like me; occasionally giving you the impression that I’m not authentic, but in fact, I fully am.
Okay, maybe not completely, because like this image of the flower, sometimes I use a filter and I am not going to apologize for that, and you shouldn’t either.
I’ve written before that there ain’t no shame in my filter game. Why? Because of these seven contentions that I hold:
- You cannot filter emotion — never wholly. If someone genuinely feels something “enough,” well then, no amount of hiding it or pretending it’s not there will keep it from exuding out of your being.
- You cannot filter real and destined connections. Forced moments and conversations will come off as just that, despite your attempts at camouflaging or concealing the awkwardness.
- True, unabashed confidence is entirely recognizable even when it is skillfully (or involuntarily) masked.
- Life is messy and often, us — the ones on its journey — we are too. So, if I want to look at myself, you, my children and their behavior through a more novice and light-hearted lens, so be it.
- Filters cannot enhance what is not originally there and already inherently beautiful. If my behavior is unbecoming or gross, then my efforts to convince you of the alternative will be a waste.
- No one wants to wear their bad moments or decisions on their being all day every day. How would that feel to look in the mirror and see the word MISTAKE written across your forehead? I’d much rather see my highlight reel when viewing myself, as my good choices and joyful moments are what keep me feeling motivated and inspired.
- Curiosity is authentic — yours and mine. How fun and playful is it for me to keep you, my spouse, my kids curious about what I am going to bring to the table today? You don’t always have to be predictable.
Now, some might laugh at my opinion here and maintain that filters make me fake, but I respectfully disagree.
I’m in the “fake it til you make it” camp and here’s an example of what I mean:
As I was leaving the grocery store today, a woman told me that I was “amazing” for taking all three children with me to pick up our necessities. But, do you know what was not so “amazing” of me? The fact that as soon as the children and I got in the car, I began to yell at them for their slight misbehavior during our grocery excursion.
I AM NOT AMAZING.
But, someone had that impression of me, and it was either wholly self-developed or I, in some way, filtered my being (and actions) to lead her to perceive such.
This is one small example of an almost everyday occurrence where someone compliments or praises me, undeservingly, for something in my life that I have apparently falsely presented to them, unintentionally, or intentionally.
So, here’s the thing. As an everyday woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, grandchild, blogger, and more, I have the job of being so many things to many people, and that shiitake isn’t easy.
When you take the time to try to see life through another person’s eyes for a moment, you understand their use of intermittent filters. You’ve got:
The mom who has her crap “all together” — it’s a filter.
The woman with the “perfect” marriage — it’s a filter.
The parent that seems well-rested — it’s a filter.
The selfless martyr — it’s a filter.
The one that’s always cheerful — it’s a filter
The one that wakes up looking gorgeous — it’s a filter (and make-up, dry shampoo, and coffee).
The thing is that, at times, all of us are seemingly something we are not, but guess what?
Most of the time, we are that thing you think is just a filter.
We all have numerous facets to our personality and honestly, sometimes they contradict one another. But, contradictions do not mean “fake;” contradictions are uber-authentic.
Life is hard. Parenting is hard. Work is hard. Marriage is hard. Families are hard. Why waste any of the scarce energy that you need to survive and thrive in this life by pretending you don’t occasionally use a filter? I’m not going to.
Listen, I get it, and I suspect that some of you think this is just plain lying and pretending. I hear you, and I respect and understand your perspective, but I just choose to look at things differently, like through a rose-colored filter, per se.
So is this flower real? You betcha.
Are you seeing it with a filter? Yes, you are.
Am I keeping it real? Hell yea.
Are you seeing me with a filter? Damn straight, and I make no apologies for that (and neither should you).