Getting lost in the sea of expertise is easy nowadays, with so many online influencers claiming to have all the answers to life’s problems.
One would think a simple Google search would make finding a solution to being discontent or unsatisfied with the way things are going pretty easy.
Oddly enough, however, at the beginning of my sobriety journey, when I searched for “living a good enough life” or “finding contentment in the present,” not a single website, blog or social media post provided what I was looking for.
Because sure enough, as I would scroll through posts that seemed to want to convince me that the life I was living was good enough, ultimately, each influencer was pushing me to perfection.
Each post said:
Perfect airbrushed skin and photoshopped body.
Perfect crisp white kitchen that doesn’t show a single kid-stain.
Perfect well-manicured lawn that holds a perfect farmhouse.
Perfect children who wear only the nicest clothing and never talk back.
Perfect marriage and perfect life.
Which only served to make every single part of my life seem more imperfect.
My kitchen is old, and I have no plans to fix it up any time soon. Same goes for the rest of my 1970’s home.
My body has birthed four beautiful children, and while I wish I could say I bounced back to pre-pregnancy bliss, at almost 41, my body looks nothing like it did at twenty.
I hate working out.
No, even more. I despise it. If I died and went to hell, hell would be me at a gym, in a class, listening to a workout queen shout orders at me.
I like good food. Hey, I’m part Italian and lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, during childhood. I was raised on spaghetti, crawfish and king cakes.
And I will never be the woman who dresses up to check her mail. Give me a t-shirt and a good pair of jogging pants any day of the week.
Truth is, these could be considered flaws to anyone else. But they’re a part of who I am. They make me me.
Still, over the last couple of years, I’ve worked on improving a little bit in each area.
We are slowly renovating our house and trying to do it on a budget using DIY methods.
A short twelve minute workout routine every morning and an afternoon walk with the dogs is helping me reach my exercise goals (and I actually feel better doing it).
Eating more clean foods is better for us as we age.
And I’m learning that dressing up gives me a sense of self-worth. I feel sexier and more attractive when I take the time to put a little effort into my look.
But I’m not going to change who I am. No amount of influencing will make me follow the “perfection” crowd, no matter how loud they scream.
The number one thing I’ve learned about being content in the present is this:
Most people with a serious online presence are trying to make money.
It’s true. If you’re online and creating anything, chances are, you’re not just doing it for fun.
And that’s okay. Because we live in a huge world, there’s plenty of abundance out there for each of us, and we should all use the God-given talents we have to bring good into the world.
But this trend of trending online is turning us all into identical, mindless robots.
Don’t believe me? Scroll through Instagram.
What you’ll find is that, depending on the generation, the influencers are all starting to look the same: same hair, same makeup, same home, same content.
Now, either I’m totally wrong, or that’s a whole lot of inauthenticity right there.
So, do you want to stand out? Then be authentic.
Sounds easy, right? Then, why don’t we choose to be authentic more often?
Because social media isn’t built to show reality. It’s created to show the highlight reel.
Now I’m not saying you should go around taking pictures of your dirty dishes or the crusty spaghetti covering your two-year-old’s face.
But your kitchen doesn’t have to look like Chip and Jojo’s.
I don’t think Chip and Jojo even want your kitchen to look like theirs.
Your body doesn’t have to look like a Kardashian (let’s be honest- their body probably doesn’t look like a Kardashian).
And if you’re my age, you don’t have to fall into the trap of trying desperately to look like you’re still in your twenties or thirties. (Shhh! It’s okay to move your eyebrows and have a few crinkles.)
I don’t say any of that lightly, ladies. I realize what we’re up against.
We are living in a world that glorifies youth, a certain type of beauty, and perfection.
Women today are expected not only to make a million dollars working full-time while being full-time moms, but also to do it with a perfectly kept home and an even more perfect body.
It’s time to rally against those standards. Not to let ourselves go, mind you, but to say that it’s okay–it’s right, even–to be best enough.
To be different people is the way the Creator created us to be.
Could it be that the enemy seeks to make us all the same?
We’re being fooled into thinking that more diversity, individuality and choices are being celebrated.
But think about it…as you scroll on social media, is that really true?
I turned forty this year, and I decided I was no longer living my life for the approval of others.
Everyday, I’m setting a goal of showing up as the most authentic version of myself.
I am finally believing I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I hope you’ll join me. Together, we can turn the strong waves of perfection into a calm sea of contentment.