The Inner Lie Nobody Wants to Say Out Loud
There’s something that’s been weighing on me for a while.
As much as I love a good 1,000-word Instagram post (that’s likely continued in the comments), I decided to ditch the micro-blog format, affectionately known as the ‘gram, and just macro-blog, old-style.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said this, or heard it: “Oh my gosh, you’re just like your social media profile!” If I can be Captain Obvious for a hot second, shouldn’t we be one and the same?
I’m noticing a dangerous trend (and I know I’m not alone here), that some people on social media live a double life. They post one thing and live another. They share an ideal or a thought or a lifestyle and yet, in real life, they are a fair cry from it.
GIRL. Who has time for that?
But that isn’t what worries me most. To each his own, I suppose.
What concerns me is two-fold: 1) it’s getting harder and harder to distinguish between filter and reality and 2) we are believing the lie that in order to have worth we must be DOING rather than BEING.
Back when I was a baby mama, there was no social media (or even cell phones for that matter). Go ahead, call me old. But I know some of you remember those days. Amazingly, we did not die when we left our cell phones at home…because we didn’t have one. It also meant I couldn’t Google map my way around town. So, progress, I suppose. But, the joy of that social-media voidless season was that in order to compare or contrast myself to other mamas, I had to actually meet them in person. And it’s a whole lot harder to judge a mama on the playground as you’re having an actual discussion because you’re conversing, and getting to know one another.
Now, we look at 5×5 filtered squares all day and hold ourselves to a crazy standard. And not just that, but we believe that it is the only standard.
Lies. They’re all lies.
When we say someone is just like their social media profile, I always think, “Good Lord, why aren’t we all?” Why, why, WHY? Why are we trying to perpetuate a version of ourselves that doesn’t exist? Why are we more consumed with what people think than owning who we are? And, why do we believe that a list of accomplishments or accolades is more important than living out our vocations and loving our people?
Yes, I 100% believe women should have a life that celebrates talents and God-given gifts. Those were meant to be shared with the world. But if one more woman says, “You can have it all!” – small business, family, faith, marriage, workout regimen, etc., etc., etc, I think I might scream in my pillow.
When did we start believing that raising families and loving the real-life people in our lives wasn’t good enough? Who keeps telling us that just being a mom or just managing the after-school shuffle or just being a wife are just, okay? Mediocre, even?
Shouldn’t we switch that thinking? Shouldn’t we be saying, I AM a mom or I AM a woman with worth followed by, I also have a career/side hustle/creative outlet/insert your passion?
And I hear what you’re thinking. Hey, Kathryn, didn’t you just write a book and you have six kids and a graphic design business? Yes, and I’ll add that hasn’t always been my season. All of us have a unique situation and we gotta stop comparing someone’s house in Connecticut to ours in Texas.
Here’s the newsflash. Everything has a season. You don’t have to do it all RIGHT NOW. You can dream and plan and set goals. But please, if you read nothing else that I share, read this:
You are not going to miss out on some fabulous version of your life if you tell someone, or something, NO. Or, WAIT. Or, NOT YET.
We’ve forgotten about the slow work of God. We’ve forgotten that there are tremendous lessons in the waiting. Ask the Kathryn from ten years ago, hell, even three years ago, and she would tell you that the life she’s living is not at all what she envisioned or planned for or hoped for. I waited. And I cried plenty of tears asking God why it took so damn long. And He smiled and said, “What I have coming is awesome. Be patient. In the meantime, go live your life because it has inherent worth right now.”
He was right.
As Fr. Stan Fortuna is known for saying, “God gives us all a gift. The problem? We don’t like the gift God gives us.” And, if I can add, “We aren’t willing to be patient enough to hear how and when God wants us to use that gift.”
As women, when we look at our lives and wonder if now is the right time to pursue a passion, we can’t discount the importance of discernment. Real discernment. The kind that takes you to your knees, enlisting the prayers of your spouse or close friend and then seeking affirmation from those who know you best. We (read: me) sometimes go into a new opportunity, guns blazing, ready to take on the world.
We gotta breathe first.
God may very well be calling you to be the get-it-done gal, but I believe He’s first calling us to take to heart our primary vocation to love. To be fully present to the people in our life. And to be content in knowing that if we can get that right – if we can make that a priority – then the rest of our life will flow from that sacrificial love of Christ.
No filter required.
I have missed sassy Kathryn!
I love this whole article. It can be so hard to stop and breathe and love on these sweet little flowers in my life, right now. No filter required. Thank you for sharing!!
I’m totally a “guns blazing just keep running wildly forward without stopping or thinking” kind of woman. Working on slowing down, totally new to this whole “discernment” thing. 😉
Wow! Were you speaking to me directly?? 💗 thank you for this!!
I wish I had your wisdom!
God bless you for being open to sharing!
🙌🏻 I want to send you a big ol’ hug!
So true and thank-you for sharing! We women get so sucked into thinking the grass is always greener. I need to be reminded often that God has me right where I belong and in the season that is best for me. ❤️
SO so good and spot on Sister. Way to be real about the myth of having and doing “it all”. It saddens me to know that culture is so focused on worldly things always striving for more and stressing out, comparing lives and lifestyles ONLY to bring us back to a place of desiring simplicity and needing REST. God created us all to know HIM first, and by knowing Him we live out our best real versions of ourselves.
I love this. I had to get the heck off of Insta for my own sanity. I miss hearing about all my online friends but it has caused me to re-prioritize regular family life, in person friends and my faith life. So the things that are actually important. I love that you’ve come to share on the blog with us old-schoolers. Thank you.
Thank you for voicing this, Kathryn.❤️
Lots of inspiration and wisdom in these words.
Well put! #seasons #truth #livefornow #sassykathryn
Reading this helped me, in a weird way, with expectations I have for my college aged kids. Thanks for telling it loud and proud. I even screen shot it for myself so I can remember “the slow work of God” part. 😊
Yes and amen!!
Beautifully written! Your last paragraph really put everything into perspective for me! Thank you Kathryn.
Needed this today! Literally in this moment! Never stop blogging . . for real though, not the 5×5 squares 🙂
Yes. This. From the rooftops, PREACH IT. Thanks, Kathryn, for speaking this into the World Wide Web for all of us who need that reminder.
I needed this! Thank you for being the vehicle God uses to speak to those of us who catch the little whispers He sends out to us through you.
Thanks for this! Instagram is great but everyone always seems to be creating something and producing and marketing or even just writing profound captions and that’s all wonderful but it makes me feel like such a slacker. I’m knee deep in raising all very small children right now and I can barely produce a coherent sentence or create something more than dinner every night. It’s nice to hear from a veteran mom that there isn’t anything wrong with this season of life I’m in right now!
SEASONS. They are all seasons. Love the one you’re in. You won’t ever get it back.
Thank you! For the past few weeks I have been agonizing whether I should force myself to take a cool opportunity, even if at this point in my life I’d rather catch up on sleep and cuddle my babies in front of the fire place. The question is settled now. I’ll sleep, cuddle our newborn and be patient.
Thank you so much for this reminder! I think it is so easy to get swept up in the idea that we “need” to constantly be producing bestsellers or starting new businesses or marketing amazing products. Our culture is so go-go-go right now, and even though I feel a bit like a hobbit much of the time, I still get affected by the busy and noisy atmosphere that particularly seems to affect my fellow millennials. I love what you say about the “slow work” of God. I like immediate results and getting things done, so I need to continually be reminded to respect and cooperate with that “slow work.” Have you ever read “The Art of Slow Writing,” by Louise DeSalvo? I didn’t love everything in that book (the author did not discuss Tolkien, which I think is silly and tragic), but I did enjoy, appreciate, and learn from a lot of it. Basically, the book discusses how many of the great writers we’ve read took their time and slowly let things percolate and come together.
I love sassy Kathryn!
[…] Kathryn of Team Whitaker blogs about why she’s tabled the Instagram micro-blog in favor of macro-blogging, which is what this series is all about. Her perspective is right on target. […]
Thank you, sister! I find myself slowly withdrawing, unfollowing and spending less screen time on social media for all these reasons.
I’m so tired of the so-called influencers who get into your head to convince you of what you “need.”
We’re empty nesters, I’m a retired elementary school teacher, and now pursuing the gifts God has given me as a jewelry artist and metal smith. Yet, when I post my work on IG or FB I’m so concerned about “judgement!” So I hesitate to promote myself that way anymore.
Now, the bulk of my photos are Catholic based ~ issues, Saints, quotes, etc. And most of who I follow are like-minded people.
We need to spend more time in real
life soul-searching and looking at the gifts, graces, and blessings which have come from our Lord and Creator.
Thanks again, Kathryn, for your courage in putting this post out there!