Yesterday I was taking pictures of my daughter. She asked to see them and said “Mommy, my shirt looks so bright in that picture, why?”
I sat in silence, stunned by her question.
Because I had no idea why I had used a filter for a picture of my precious girl. I had never thought about it. Honestly, I never used filters at all before I started using Instagram but now I use them without even thinking.
My 6 year old stood waiting for an answer. Her eyes were piercing and full of curiosity.
I tried to explain, “well Mama needs a filter - it’s something that changes the picture to make it brighter or bolder, it’s just how photography works. We try to make pictures prettier.”
“But it changed my shirt, it’s not that bright.”
She is so right. Life isn’t always as bright as we make it look on social media. Life isn’t always bright at all.
Sometimes it is downright dark. But there is no filter for that.
The danger in projecting a filtered life is giving others the impression that our lives are always brighter. It sets up a pretense that we have achieved something unattainable, perfection.
We all KNOW in our minds that perfection doesn’t exist but sometimes we FEEL in our hearts that it does and we just can’t achieve it.
Today, in my unfiltered life, I have six loads of laundry, two bills to pay, an already grumpy three year old and a mess left over from a craft my girls started.
If I could throw a filter on that pile of laundry and make it look better I’d still have to wash it. Because it might look better but it would still stink.
I don’t intend to spend my entire life filtering out REAL stuff.
Because the real stuff, in the unfiltered space, is where LIFE happens.
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