“The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable but our wholeness, even our wholeheartedness, actually depends on the integration of all our experiences including the falls.” Brene Brown, Rising Strong
The age of the internet is such a funny thing. One moment our lives look perfect, filtered and divine, the next we are oversharing, hoping, wishing, wanting someone to acknowledge our pain.
Navigating our way through the balance of authenticity and vulnerability is not just a now topic it is the wrestle that integrates our experiences into living a whole life.
Does your instagram feed look the same as your facebook personal revelations?
Have you wrestled with oversharing on the internet?
Ever felt vulnerable and wish you had never shared the truth?
Does your instagram feed look nothing like the reality of your everyday life?
As I spend more and more time here on the internet, I find it to be the most telling of social experiments.
When I step back and watch someone’s life, unfold across the pages of facebook, instagram and the blogging sphere, it is a very telling tool to the balance or lack of balance in emotional well being.
It is like our online voice is a very telling map, that quickly leads us towards the true state of our heart.
Is your online footprint full of smokes and mirrors?
Do you say things on instant messenger that you would never say to someone personally or in a public sphere?
Do you bully people, compare, compete and down right bitch and then suddenly filter it all together to make a unique, consumer focused product?
Lately I have been thinking a lot about designing the life that I truly want. I have been thinking about some of my friends who have no online life at all, they don’t even have a face book page and I wonder whether that is the answer?
Should I just step back and have nothing to do with this arena?
Whilst reading chapter three Owning our stories, from Rising Strong, I was so compelled by the culture we are immersed in. As I read through her thoughts I couldn’t help but think about the difference between our online impressions of what our life is and the actuality of our everyday.
Brene talks about the latin root of the word integrate which in its purest form means “to make whole”. I have been thinking, maybe we struggle as a society to live whole hearted lives, because we compartmentalise so much. In this part of my life, I am this person. In this arena, I am that person.
Maybe we are confused, because there is no bridge between all the different roles we are playing and how much people think they know about us, which is only half of the true story?
What is the answer?
Brene proposes in this chapter of the book, that creativity is an amazing tool to connect different parts of our story together and to find our true voice.
This is my book club question that arose from this chapter,
What do you do creatively that makes you find your voice or feel whole?
Every time I knit or write, there is something authentic about myself that comes together in the process. I think the times that I do this with no agenda at all, not to try and make money or impress anyone, these creative pure times, are when all my different parts start to come together.
As I knit, I meditate and think, I produce something that I hope will make someone, somewhere feel warm and loved.
As I write, I ask myself questions, I look for answers, I think about the truth I find in people’s stories and scripture.
The problem about my writing and my knitting is that social media is an amazing tool to connect people with the power of these creative pursuits in my life. I have to make sure that the bridge I am building between other people and my everyday life is an honest and true one.
Otherwise the disconnectedness between the two makes me feel like a total fraud.
And that is not the kind of life that I am pursuing.
I cant wait to read Elaine’s thoughts on Monday.
Comment along below with us…
I love to hear your thoughts about connectedness, creativity and living authentically in the culture we are immersed in.
8 thoughts on “The problem when your instagram feed looks nothing like your real life.”
It’s what is at the source of my creativity that gives it value, there are many things I can do, but it’s only the things that I creatively do that add value to somebody else that make me feel alive.
My head space is always with people and my creativity is the great side kick that enables me to actively live and love out what goes on in my head. 🙂
i love this so much. The source changes everything.
Owning our story… And integrating our parts to communicate an abridged message! Wow!! I love this.. So deep we could be mermaids.. (Ha! Kidding…)
I believe our stories are the birthplace of healing. Our transformations heal. That is why it’s so important to own (not disown) them.
So how do we share with others in an online space? Does authenticity automatically equal integration and who’s the judge? How do we overcome the ‘who am I to share?’ etc etc
So, let me nut this out..
If we all have a transformational story that is most powerful when shared, and the way we communicate our story is important to being moved by our message; creativity is key because when we create (no matter how we create) we are creating a story of change (in us and others)..
I’ve noticed though, that our articulated disclosures don’t always deliver in the way we prescribe them to. In fact, we can never be the judge of how others perceive or receive what goes on around them. Nor should we hold to judgement the data we take in.. (Easier said than done, right?). As a listener and observer I try to run far fat from a place of judgement and simply observe and learn.
Therefore I observe or create a story that heals; a story of change or transformation:
-In ways that are ultimately fun or rewarding for me/others;
-I share my truth;
-I share my truth wherever I can (sometimes I can’t);
-I share regardless of whose listening or watching and practice sharing (eg., it may be to just the one);
-I am authentic;
-I own and share in the service of others and I’m sensitive to safety, receptivity;
-I hold space for someone else’s transformation;
-I don’t compare as I believe every story holds in its own message a responsibility to get out;
-I believe that just because we get a revelation, it’s interpretation and application are not always prescriptive. Instead, it becomes like seed that can land on/in many different soils.. This is where social media is incredible…. relevant.. influential – or not so much!
This comment is so so so helpful. Because for some, sharing and speaking is their creative outlet and it is their place of honesty and who are we to judge this.
So so so good.
It is such a big conversation and such a healthy one, to keep asking questions rather than try to bring everything back to a place of safety and locking it down.
Amazing to have your experience here in this format. I love it
There is something regarding the concept of Daring Greatly that still really unsettles me, I’d love your thoughts.
If embracing and owning our stories with vulnerability builds authenticity and strength what happens when you have a story that can’t be shared and that paints the landscape of your life for a long time?
I find that ambiguity in sharing doesn’t create moments of connectedness or opportunity for conversation, but how do you process these stories, and especially if you may hold them for a lifetime?
I find it easier to risk owning and sharing stories of myself about perhaps when I’ve really let one of my children down (eg) because I know that my investment in that risk is likely to be met with others who have felt the same, and that collectively we can encourage each other etc.
But I do find some of the deeper heart stuff much more difficult, especially when your story is uncommon or complex, or is going to directly impact on others if shared.
I believe you can own a story without sharing it, but it’s difficult to sometimes convey in a vulnerable or authentic when out of honour your approach it from a ambiguous stand point.
It’s been in these seasons that creative expression for me has been especially hard, leaving very little space for expression.
I’d love to explore this concept much more.
I had a big conversation with someone this week about this actually. The answer we came to was an anonymous blog. Because in the processing and writing she knew that revelation and freedom would come, but the content was not a blog that she could put her name too. I have a friend who has an anon blog called 30 something and single. Where she writes about how hard it is to be over 30 and single. This has been a massive place of personal revelation and processing for her story but also has given her the safety to not feel like she’s airing her dirty laundry on Facebook.
I write mainly to know what I think. I often don’t really know how I feel about something until i write. it is the way I wrestle with my story, my motivations, my fears, my pain and my pride and it is on those pages that I find myself. Sometimes I choose to share that, sometimes that’s just for me. It is a hard line to walk and honestly I don’t know that I walk it well. Sometimes I think I am too vulnerable online and other times to closed. I think the line looks more to me like a curvy road swinging back and forth rather than a straight one.
And I cook. I cook to feed people I love. I cook to get out of my head and create something tangible. I cook to have a finished product. I cook to experience sounds and smells, and flavours. To break the focus on words and words and words.
I need both, they give me balance … they make me whole.
Great question, and thought provoking post xx
Not sure if technology is really my friend. I just wrote and pressed post and it all disappeared into the ether. I am okay now but for one short moment I considered closing it all down and not writing a word and then realized – that isn’t helpful to anyone………so let me try to recall what I do creatively that makes me feel whole – times that I lose track of time and get lost in the moment. Stories, puppets, songs, laughter, children to interact with all make me feel whole. Being witness to the power of transformation during Blessing Generation seminars as I see the visible change on the faces of these precious people as they come face to face with the Holy Spirit also makes me feel whole, complete, filled with His Shalom. These moments in time are precious to me and yet there are other times when I feel fractured. These are the times I call out to the Lord. I am beginning to see that so much depends on my emotions and the stories attached to them. I want His total Shalom – nothing broken, nothing missing………. Rising Strong is giving me some keys to that road and I find it both frightening and reassuring. Kath