I am a terrible liar. Withholding truth manifests as physical discomfort in my body. Perhaps, this is why my five-year-old knows more about where babies come from than most of his peers, and I will probably end up buzz killing the tooth fairy. If there was an opposite for compulsive liars, it would be me. I am compulsively honest.
My propensity toward the truth doesn’t mean I never lie, or skew the facts. There are aspects of my life, which I choose not to share on this blog, for example, as well as the general societal expectations, such as not telling a stranger you find there outfit unattractive. We all have to navigate our own reality.
We are a society craving authenticity. We want to experience things that are tangible and real. We want to read an article and not have to second-guess its motives. We want to follow our favorite influencers and trust they are presenting their true selves.
What is truth? Seems like a simple enough question to answer. Truth means facts. Truth is real. Truth is right. Truth cannot be debated or skewed. There is the truth and there are lies.
But, truth isn’t always easy to define. In a world where everything is “fake news,” and filtered reality is the norm on social media, how do we distinguish fact from fiction?
The answer is: often, we can’t. Yes, there are firm facts, like 2 plus 2 equals four, and you can’t not sing along to “Ice, Ice Baby.” However, truth can be subjective, and what you believe as fact can be quite different from what I believe. As we saw from that viral photo of “the dress,” people can view the same thing in many ways, and from their individual perspectives, they all would be right.
As a blogger who writes about my life as a mother, I struggle with how much I want to reveal. I am sure, many would view my lack of candor as false. If by failing to reveal everything, am I really saying nothing?
I hope not. I hope the glimpses I present of my life are appreciated for their unique truths. I hope my readers understand that everything I choose to share is from my place of authenticity. I hope they will acknowledge the reality for me isn’t the reality for every mom, and they will consume my content with a wide lens of appreciation.
And I hope you will extend that lens to include all of those who choose to put themselves out there for our consumption. I dislike when people are called out for being inauthentic, when that definition of authenticity is often very narrow. When we think of “real” parenting, we applaud those who share pics of their messy homes, or fights with their children or weakness in their marriage. We have been conditioned to believe anything good or happy we see must also be fake. As if, truth can only be defined in our darkest moments.
But that mom on Instagram always posting pics of her carefully curated home is just as “real” as the one showing her pile of laundry. Each one is showing an aspect of her life which resonates in her heart. Sure they one with the beautiful home, may have a messy living space from time to time, just as the one with all the laundry may eventually have things neat and folded. These things they show are merely snapshots of a moment in their lives. Their stories should not be judged on a few sentences they choose to share.
Whether you are a blogger, writer, influencer or just someone who loves to share on social media, all I will ask is you speak your truth, whatever that means to you. I will continue to do my best to be honest, while still respecting my level of comfort in sharing things about my life. I hope you will call me out on anything that rings false and will challenge me to be my authentic self.