I made a post on IG about this awesome little Adrien Arpel dress. It was a cute dress and I thought, “Let’s do a little marketing!”
Boy, did I get a response! A great one! From so many people. People loving the dress, loving how I looked in it. So much love.
But my friends, this picture was the illusion of perfection. The media version of what people love and want to see. This is the photo that is visually “in balance” and attracts others to say, “Wow, I want that!” “I want that dress because I want to look like that in it.”
This is modern day marketing. Like it or not, this is our culture. This is how we advertise. From makeup to hair products, weight loss pills, fad diets, exercise routines, to clothing. It’s how we buy and sell things. With the image of what you can be or may want to be.
We as consumers crave more. Better. Perfection. But do you know there is no such thing as perfection? It’s an illusion. Now, there is great. There is good. There is awesome. But all those are results, and they only come through a process to be desireable to others.
This my friend, is an unprocessed version. No hair, no makeup, and the raw emotions in the middle of a process.
We all go through this version, but do we want to put on public display? This unkept, unprocessed, rawness? No. We can’t pretend we don’t have it, because we all know that we do. But when it comes to showing others what we want them to have, they want to see what it can be, before they say yes to what it takes to get there.
I promise you, you don’t want the unprocessed version of your pastor, bible teachers, or mentors. They must go through their own battles, mental fights, and emotional challenges to give you the polished, hope-filled version of possibility.
Just like our unprocessed life lessons aren’t for everyone to see, neither is a picture perfect version. What good does an unobtainable, unrelatable feeling of perfection do? It is as frustrating to see the overly polished version as it is to see the unprocessed. Now our flesh may love the raw version because it’s vulnerable and let’s you know they are just like you. It may also love the perfect version becasue it’s pleasing to the eye and looks flawless, but the reality is, they both bring no true hope to what can be if they aren’t kept in balance.
This is the imperfect, unedited, raw; yet processed photo. Do I have a perfectly snatched up, tiny smooth waste like above? NOPE! Do I have a belly roll? yup! Is it imperfect yet still beautiful? yes. It is all “in balance” No.
We naturally crave to see balance. It is inherently attractive to us. Our eyes see something in balance and it is pleasing to our brain. This is why our culture makes things “picture perfect” and it works! We also edit the lighting balance. More light, less light, more color, less contrast. Editing is a part of making something palatable for others to enjoy and receive well. There’s even a formula for it. Really there is!
There is nothing wrong editing what we put in front of others. Just like there is nothing wrong in craving balance. We were made that way. So let’s keep this in balance. No, I don’t need to see your ugly process, nor do you really need to see mine. We need to see the hope and wisdom that can be shared after the process. We need put-together life lessons that will help encourage and empower each other to keep going, and that bring the hope we need to know that we are not alone.
Will you be picture perfect? You can be if that’s the version you want others to see. But is perfection your goal? or is bringing an obtainable hope and powerful life experience to others your goal?
Let me encourage you, if you are a teacher, leader, speaker, mother, preacher, or breather of oxygen you will have unprocessed, tearful, ugly moments. And that is ok.
It is also ok for the world not to see you in rawness of the process.
It is ok for you to share your process from a place of hope, beauty, and imperfection.
It is ok to have a balance of realness and polished wisdom.
It is ok to know that you aren’t perfect and are worthy to have your voice heard.
It is also ok to wait and use that voice until the process is finished so others can see the beauty and hope it brings.
How much of the unprocessed you, you show to others, is up to you. It’s not wrong to show the tears, sweat, and rawness. It’s not wrong to show the polished version, the imperfect version, or the processed version. It’s your call as to how much and what you give to others, because the only person you have to answer to in the end is your Lord. So, ask Him what do I need to reveal now or wait to reveal. How do you want this to be seen by others? Because you reflect Him and His heart in it all, processed and unprocessed. At least we hope to, right?