Ugly is the new beautiful.

from Trey Ratcliff at www.stuckincustoms.com

“That was very brave of you to put yourself out there! I don’t think I could do that.”

“I wish I could express my feelings like you do, but I don’t think I can.”

“That was so [powerful, heavy, beautiful, honest]! It reminded me of myself, but I can’t share it like you can.”

First and foremost, thank you for all of the response to my last post. I really appreciate all the encouraging words, shares, and texts. It means a lot to me that people enjoy reading my blog and that they like what I have to say.

But to be honest, something in the middle of all of that encouragement and positive response was bothering me. A lot.

This nifty hosting site keeps a log of all of my blog traffic, and I can go in and view all kinds of fun and interesting statistics. Like how many page views I get per day, what countries my readers are in (shout out to the Philippines, and to Bahrain and Germany – you know who you are!), and how many followers I have. My favorite statistic is which topics are most popular. And while I’d love to say that your favorite posts are the ones in which I share a thoughtful opinion, some random quirky thoughts, or my growing photography skills, that’s not exactly the case.

My three most popular posts are not happy. They’re not funny, quirky, or light. They are serious, honest, heavy, and they were hard to write. It’s when I shared the uglier side of myself that my page views shot up and my phone started buzzing with notifications from readers.

And it bugs me. It’s not hard to deduce that people tend to be drawn to drama, but there’s something so horribly backwards in knowing that if I want to draw readers in, I will need to write about the ugly things I experience. The stuff that I try to otherwise hide in all of my social media. The deeper, more truthful parts of myself.

In other words, real life.

Isn’t it ironic? We are so drawn in to the stories of hardship, brokenness, struggles, and pain, especially if they have feel-good endings with freedom, redemption, and healing. We love to know how others are coping with their tragedies. We sympathize and cry with them. But secretly, we all have that ugly story, although we do our best to hide it from the world (especially if it doesn’t have a feel-good ending).

Yeah, I’m looking at you, Pinterest-Perfect Person. You aren’t fooling me.

If my ugliest stories are the ones that impact you the most, how do you think your ugly stories might impact someone else? Do you consider how transparent you are with your friends and family? Do you ever wonder how differently the world might look if we stopped pretending like we have it all together and admit that we are all jacked up?

That’s why I blog about the hard and ugly stuff. It’s real, and it’s part of my story. I have no problem confessing my failures and shortcomings, because at the end of the day, I can say with confidence that every sin and flaw in me was done away with at the cross. It is easier to let the world see my struggles and ugliness because in that transparency, people will see Christ at the center of my being, and every day I am just a little closer to being more like Him.

And the truth is, you can be honest too. You CAN let people know you’re struggling. It does take courage and vulnerability, but you’re a deeper person than your face-value Instagram or Twitter feed. You’re a person with real thoughts, feelings, and ideas. It’s okay to stop comparing your real life to everyone else’s projected dream life, and start being humbly transparent.

In reality, we’re all ugly, but there’s something incredibly beautiful about being able to acknowledge it.

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2 thoughts on “Ugly is the new beautiful.

  1. Emma, maybe it is because sometimes we go back to look again and renew our prayers for you. (Can you tell if it is the same person more than once?) I know I do. You do have a way of expressing (and confessing things) that is encouraging to me! And I appreciate your blog for that reason, too.

    I am praying for you. I’d welcome prayers, too! I am not good with words. No wordsmith here! But I enjoy and hopefully learn from others. Even others young enough to be my own child!

    Blessings to you!

    • Ms Mary,
      Thank you so much for praying for me! I always need it. 😛 and I’m so glad that you are encouraged. That’s truly an answer to my prayers.

      To answer your question, no, I can only see how many times the page has been viewed. Typically, the spikes occur on the same day I post something (anywhere between 40-130 views a day). The highest spikes have been on days when I post about a harder topic, which leads me to the conclusion that the majority of people read it on the same day I post, and a very small margin might re-read it on the same day (though I know there’s always exceptions!).

      All of it is just generic numbers at the end of the day, and it’s not about how many views I get. 🙂 it blesses and amazes me to have return readers, and so thank you for coming back. If anything I say has impacted anyone at all, then I am more than satisfied!

      I AM praying for you, sweet friend! Much love and hugs!

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