Have you seen the movie Avatar? I will admit to you that I loved that film! To be real with ya, if I’m sitting down to fold a few loads of clean laundry and come across Avatar on TV, I’ll totally watch it. I appreciate the story. I appreciate the art design. I appreciate the animation. It’s just a fun film.
But we are not Avatars.
Yet, I think we sometimes try to live like we are.
The definition of avatar is: “an embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life. Digital Technology. a graphical image that represents a person, as on the Internet.”
There is nothing real about avatars.
Social media is an avatar of sorts. We all love scrolling through posts on Instagram and Facebook, and from what I hear you can get lost in Pinterest (it’s the one I won’t get on because I know I would get lost in it too!) But what do we see? For the most part it’s picture perfect living rooms with just the right amount of light that invites us in; it’s the luxurious master bedroom with loads of pillows that you can imagine sinking into; it’s the spa-like bathroom that begs us to have a ‘treat yo’self’ kind of day; it’s the country club backyard that beckons us to throw a party. You get the idea.
But what did all those rooms look like before the picture was taken? That space was crafted in such a way to convey a certain feeling. And after the photos were taken, the people could get back to “real life” and live in their homes like regular people. Toys, piles of laundry, stacks of papers and bills, backpacks and shoes by the front door, and unmade beds. Okay, okay…might sound like an extreme, but it’s true. The majority of the time, we make our bed every morning because I like the way it looks when it’s all done up. But today, today I was okay with pulling up the sheets & blanket, and then smoothing out the comforter on top without all the extra pillows and cutesy stuff on top.
What about our self? How do we ‘avatar’ ourselves?
We take a bunch of selfies to find just the right one to post. No one tells you that the pic they finally posted was ‘take 50’ or that they used about three different filters to find just the right lighting. We put up the version of ourselves, the image that we think is going to be acceptable to those taking 3-5 seconds to scroll past our photo.
I mean, no one really wants to see pics of your dishes piled high in both sides of the sink or how your dog threw up all over the couch. We want to put our best self forward to others, and I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. The danger lies in the desire to become the image we are putting forth with such an effort as to hide our real self.
Not to ruin the movie for ya…but that’s what happens at the end! For a lot of reasons, the guy decides he’d rather become the avatar-being than to go back to the real world of being human. He leaves it all behind. In the movie, it feels very altruistic and makes sense. But what happens in our real-world situations when we are consistently walking around in a fake body?
We have all met someone, or have been that person, who walks around with a smile plastered on our face and everything is always fine. Or the other side of things, walk around with our head hanging down complaining about how life is unfair. These are both extremes, but I know there is someone coming to your mind right now that fit one or both of these caricatures.
I’ve been both.
I think immediately back to a span of time that I realize I wasn’t able to truly build solid friendships with some of the people around me because heck, I didn’t even want to be around me. I was stuck in a cycle of depression, doubt, confusion, self-hatred…all of it! I was allowing those negative attributes to become who I thought I was. I repelled the idea from anyone who tried to tell me different. Admittedly, we were going through some difficult financial times but I was letting Satan tell me who I was instead of believing the Living Word of God tell me who I actually was!
I am beyond thankful that my husband, my daughters, and my true friends didn’t give up on me! I didn’t turn a corner until I CHOSE to believe that God created me to be a loving person, a competent mother and wife, a genuine friend, and one who was seen, known, and loved by the Creator of the Universe. Part of that transformation was in the form of some tough love from a good friend (Thanks Jenn!)
She told me that every day for a month, I was to look in the mirror and say (OUT LOUD!): “I am beautiful. I am loved. I am created by God for a good purpose.”
And then I had to call or text her to let her know that I did it. Those 30 days were the worst best thing that could’ve happened to me. The day I could say those things to myself in the bathroom mirror, while my husband was in the room at the same time, well, that’s when I knew I was beginning to actually believe it! That month was pivotal in the transformation God had in store for me.
I stopped wishing that my life was different.
I stopped dreaming away the day with all my “When I ___________ then I’ll be happy.” kinds of self-talk.
I stopped imagining what life would’ve looked like had we made different financial decisions.
What did I START doing?
- Choosing to honor the Lord with my “yes” before my feet hit the floor every morning.
- Choosing to have a view of my life and of the community I lived in with a Biblical view instead of a world-view.
- Choosing to believe that I was worth loving and that I was enough.
- Choosing to trust that I was who God said I was.
I’ll be honest, there are still days that I have to really fight to choose, let alone BELIEVE, all of those truths. But when I do it’s totally worth it!
My encouragement to you today ~
Start living into the life that God has called you to.
Trust that He has a good plan for you…better than you can imagine.
Give the Lord your ‘yes’ every single morning and look for opportunities to be a light for Jesus during your day.
Read God’s Word and pray every day ~ keep Him the foremost part of every thought!
All of these things take active participation in the life that you are currently living. Put away the ‘avatar’ version you’ve created of yourself and your circumstances.
Real life is better than an imagined one.
Photo by h heyerlein on Unsplash