Today I sat in the car, waiting for a prescription to be filled, and I began to edit a photo on instagram.
It was a selfie, but not a duckface one (just to be clear). Just a half-face one, mainly more meant to show off the cardigan I am wearing.
I edited and moved and filtered until it looked just right- that look like I didn’t realize a picture was being taken. “Oh, can you even SEE me in this picture? Weird.” … even though I had retaken the picture seven times.
I worked and reworked the text- something funny about Tuesdays- and once I had done all I could to the picture to make it look great and the words were just funny enough but not too dad joke-y, I almost posted it.
But something felt off.
In Christianese, I felt a check in my spirit.
In normal talk, something on my insides felt weird.
I thought about last Sunday night, how a mom had asked me why her daughter cares about how many likes she gets on instagram and why that is “the number one priority to teenagers.” (Her words, not mine.)
And I realized the thing in me is the same thing in that teen girl and in moments, is probably the same thing in many of us.
I was asking the internet to tell me I’m pretty.
Not intentionally, mind you, and that is probably the line between teenager and adult. (Self-awareness and all.) Many teen girls today are openly saying LOOK AT ME AND TELL ME IF I’M PRETTY, INTERNET. Most adults aren’t.
(In lots of ways, we have the same itch, it’s only the scratching that is different.)
Somewhere deep in me, as I worked with that picture, my heart was screaming out
Will they tell me I am enough?
Am I pretty?
What will they think?
Will I feel better?
… and once I heard those questions, once I really listened to what was going on in me, I stopped.
I deleted the instagram picture.
I put my phone down.
I asked God to open my eyes to what was going on in my heart. What is missing? What is hurting? Why am I needing the approval of others today more than usual?
It’s not about the selfie- I’m not hating on selfies. I like them. It’s not about the picture. It’s about what is going on in your heart when you take it and post it.
I can’t know that about you, or the teen girl next to you, or the people I follow on instagram.
But I can know it about me.
And today? My heart was in the wrong place- not a bad place, just the wrong place. It was a little lost, as this Annie tends to be.
God and I talked it over- I knew fairly quick the root of what is going on. I said my hurts, my fears, and how tired my heart feels. So we talked about it until I felt the icky heavy feeling start to dissolve off my heart.
I pulled down my rear view mirror until I could see myself and I said, “Annie. You are beautiful. You don’t need the internet to tell you what you already know is true.” Because me and positive self-talk are buds.
And then I posted a picture of nutritional yeast. You’re welcome.
And that is my honest moment with instagram today.
Be kind to yourself and be honest with yourself today, friend.
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