Filtering Reality

Screen Shot 2015-12-26 at 5.24.20 PMI escaped to the beach today to gather my thoughts about life, my future, and some current emotions I’ve been going through. I brought my camera with me, as photography is something I do when I need to think, though I haven’t done in a very long time.

I snapped photos of the ocean tide, the seagulls, and the jetty. But the photos weren’t coming out the way I had hoped. After some time, I put my camera away and took out my phone. Opening my phone’s camera, I selected one of my favorite filters and began taking photos. My goodness! What a difference. The photos finally began coming out the way I liked them.

Then for a moment, it was as though time stopped for just a second and I realized something.

We have become so used to putting filters over everything, that we no longer appreciate the reality. 

How many times do you post a photo to Instagram without a filter? Most of us would say rarely, if ever.

But life doesn’t come with filters. What you see, is what you get. When someone breaks news to you that you wish weren’t true, you can’t overlay a rose-colored filter to make it better. And when a situation doesn’t turn out the way you expected, there’s no life filter you can select to change it.

As a culture, we’ve become so focused on covering up flaws, imperfections, and mistakes with filters – whether they come in the form of photo filters, word filters, or heart filters. We sift everything through these filters and hope people only see the better side.

I don’t want to be dissatisfied with reality because it’s not as pretty as a filter would make it. I want to appreciate all I’m surrounded by in life, in the nature around me, and in the people in my life.

Reader – this coming year, I want to be more purposeful in accepting, acknowledging, and enjoying the realities around me. I want to be less focused on what filter would make things “prettier” for others and instead, work on appreciating reality.

Filters don’t protect you from the bad, they only cover it for a time.

So, let’s be real.

Let’s take the filters off.

And let’s enjoy the world and those in it, just as they are.



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