Welcome to The Curvy Christian Hashtag series where I pick one of the latest trending hashtags and share my perspective on it.
It seems like you can’t leisurely scroll through Instagram nowadays without someone saying that they’re “living their best life.” Those posts are usually accompanied with a picture of them on a sandy beach somewhere or at a music festival with a mimosa in one hand and a designer bag in the other.
I believe that every moment of wonder, every positive memory and every new accomplishment should be celebrated in order to live our lives to the fullest. Celebrating all things big and all things small. But at the same time, the #livingmybestlife hashtag reflects a lot that’s wrong with the social media culture.
Like most of social media, this hashtag is mainly used to show the highlight reel and not the real stuff underneath. It’s highly possible that the “best life” isn’t something that can be captured on an iPhone 8 with a perfectly formatted caption, 3 emojis and 50 hashtags. It’s more likely that the best parts of your life are hidden behind the scenes. In the ordinary things. Very rarely do you see #livingmybestlife associated with a normal everyday life moment, like going shopping at Target, cuddling your babies, gathering up the guts to say hi to your crush or having a meaningful coffee date with a close friend.
Sure, not every part of your life needs to be posted on social media. But we should aim to be more authentic in the way that we define our ideal life. Bill Murray said it like this, “Social media is training us to compare our lives, instead of appreciating everything we are.”
Not everyone that claims to be living their best life, really is. Which is all the more reason to stop idolizing other people’s lives because we think they have it all and instead start living our lives contently because we appreciate all that we have. The truth is that some people are living their lives to the fullest and others are just faking it for the trend.
I’m sure there’s a way to live your best life, but it would probably look a lot different from the way we’ve been painting it. Living your best life should mean living your healthiest life – mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally. Your best life should be described as your happiest life – full of laughter, love and little loneliness. Living your best life should mean waking up everyday knowing that you have purpose to walk in for today and tomorrow.
And yes, your best life still might mean processing pain and disappointment, struggling with family drama, your next steps on your career path, and much more. No one can have the perfect life. Don’t let someone else tell you that your life is perfect when only you know what’s really going on behind the scenes. Stay in YOUR path to fulfillment. Only you can determine what your “best life” actually looks and feels like. It’s has little to do with material things and everything to do with the intangible.
If you are truly living out your definition of your best life, don’t boast outright about it. Instead recognize your blessings and pull others up. Turn your losses into lessons. Live your life honestly. Surround yourself with lots of love. With people who will celebrate your success and not hoard jealousy in their hearts. Lead by example. Show those around you how you can realistically live a happy life in a healthy way.
Let’s all aim to live our best lives, but not at the cost of our own sanity. Let’s aim to fully appreciate the life we’ve been given and let it be the truest version that we could possible imagine and not what society or social media deems to be the best for us.
Curveball: A lot of the people who you think are living their best lives are actually struggling silently and actually aren’t as happy as they appear.
How to Catch the Curveball: Hit the pause button. No one is THAT busy that they can’t check on your friends that seem to be “living their best life.” And if that person is you, please please also check on yourself. Have an accountability partner. Seek out a therapist. A helpline. We must press pause long enough to see ourselves and others clearly without any Instagram filters, but rather for who we really are.