#tbt. If you have a Facebook or Instagram account you understand what that little phrase means. Each Thursday our newsfeeds are littered with “Throwback Thursday” pictures and captions describing our former selves. You name it, it’s out there: pictures from grade school, vacation, college friends, and more. They are our favorite memories and Thursdays have become our favorite day to share them.
I enjoy heading online each Thursday to see what friends have posted as their #tbt. Most are the best bits of life, but is that really an accurate story of our lives? We choose our #tbt pictures carefully, choosing the ones that make us look the best. Our hair is just right, our smile is big, the circumstances behind the picture are good or funny. We edit our lives to show the very best image of ourselves.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not necessarily saying we should post the negative pictures of life, but what if a stranger were to randomly pick a less glamorous picture to post for your #tbt? Would you be proud of what was posted? Would your Facebook friends and Instagram followers “like” your image? Would you be filled with joy or regret as that story is shared?
I am as guilty as the next person at handpicking how my story is shared. But there is a bigger question in all of this: are you living in such a way that you are proud to tell the complete story of your life?
While I certainly don’t succeed in every circumstance, in every thought, in every friendship and in every interaction, my goal is to live each day in such a way that I would be proud to tell my entire story. I want to be able to share with my grandkids stories of adventure, fun, romance and faith without having to leave out or explain away parts that are not pretty or polished.
I want to tell them that I broached the conversation when it revolved around a difficult topic. That I stood beside a friend who needed support when others walked away. That I fought for purity in a relationship and godliness in friendships when others couldn’t understand why.
And when I have messy moments, I hope that I will share those just as freely. That I can pass along to others the lessons learned in the times I messed up. I hope that I will not be so consumed with having a perfect exterior that I can’t share my imperfect interior.
But it’s more than telling that story to my future grandkids; I want to share that story with the people in my life now. I want to live authentically and transparently. I want to be a person that others know is real, who makes mistakes and owns up to them, who isn’t afraid to share the good and not so good, and who strives to be a better friend, daughter, fiancé and Christian.
Telling that kind of story means starting now. It means I have to start today with changes to my friendships, attitude, behavior, faith and involvement. To kick it off here is my #authentictbt. What’s yours?