Day 5 was a busy one, but I managed to stay on track. I had my normal green tea in the morning and had a banana for breakfast before my connection group for church. I know that is not really a breakfast, but I was meeting a friend at Panera Bread for brunch and some over due girl time. For a girl like me who loves her bread, Panera is what I imagine heaven to be like. So much bread everywhere! Okay, so I don’t really think that is what heaven looks like, but you get the point. I knew I couldn’t go there without a plan. I searched their menu online last night and looked up all the ingredients and the nutrition facts for their entire menu. I settled on a cup of pesto vegetable soup and a half beet/quinoa/citrus salad with the vinaigrette on the side. I also got the acai berry green tea. It was all surprisingly delicious and satisfying, and not a bread morsel in sight. I’m sure there were trace amounts of sugar in my meal, but overall, I’m happy with my choices. And even better, I passed the Panera Bread test!
This was, of course, my main meal of the day and kept me full for a long time, but I did take a Lara Bar to work. As I was eating it, several people looked at it with disgust and asked what it was. I showed them the wrapper, and all the delicious ingredients in there. All natural, no processed sugar, and so good. It seemed no matter how much I tried to convince them of how great these snack bars are, no one could get past the way they look. I admit, they are not the most appealing looking bar.
So… yes, it doesn’t look great, but it is delicious and full of good ingredients.
As I was having this conversation with my coworkers, I was struck by the thought of how much we judge things by the way they look. Never mind the goodness that may be hidden inside, we base our initial assessment of things, and people, on appearance. No where is that more evident than on Facebook. As we browse our walls they are filled with smiling faces, intelligent articles, pithy quotes, and existential musings. And when an occasional post about the pains and troubles of real life shows up, we balk at the intrusion into our perfect little Facebook world. Most everything we post on Facebook is sugar coated, tweaked, edited to make us seem less awkward and flawed. We put our best face forward as much as possible. And why wouldn’t we? When the post of the smiling faces, or the vague quote gets us so many likes and comments, why would we post anything else. The affirmation is almost instant. Our Facebook is coated in chocolate without much reality coming forth.
I made a decision a couple of weeks ago to stop with the plastic smiling faces posts, or the perfect scripture quotes, and to start getting real. I’m not saying I won’t post scripture anymore, or that I won’t share a good picture, but it will have a reason, an explanation, a story of success or failure. I want my presence on social media to reflect me in the truest sense, flaws and all. If God can accept me for who I am, and even celebrate it with me, that is all need. If people are turned off by my candor and honesty, I’m okay with that. Those that stick with me and get to know me will be the kind of people that I can call friend.
What is your online persona? Is it a true reflection of who you are? I pray that each one who is reading this can find the courage to cast off the sugar coated representation of who you are and be free to be beautiful you online and in life.