Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Needtobreathe and the Longing for Authenticity

"Authenticity" is kind of a buzzword in the blog world right now. It's a little bit exciting to think that people are starting to tire of the glossy, perfect, Photoshopped worlds that have taken over the internet, that we're longing for something deeper and more real. I have had some great conversations with fellow bloggers about maintaining authenticity, and how frustrating it is to compare your everyday life with other people's highlight reels. It's a strange thing, because in some ways those perfectly constructed worlds are inspiring, but when you're struggling it can be the death blow to your ego. I've lost a couple of my favorite blogs to the feeling that the owner had of just not being able to compare. I hate that. I mean, I read some of those "perfect" blogs, and I like them okay, but they never hit my top ten.

I like messy people. 

I like people who struggle sometimes. I like depressed people, anxious people, people who like nerdy things (and not in that ironic hipster way), people who don't fit in, people who are confused about God, people who have no sense of direction in life, people who are afraid.

I've always liked the weirdos, the sinners, the ragamuffins, the quirky ones.

And I've never really known why. 

UntitledA couple weeks ago, I went to a Needtobreathe concert, which is really nothing new--I've lost count of how many of their shows I've been to over the past few years. They played some new songs, though, and somehow hearing them live let me focus on the lyrics in a way that I hadn't since buying their album a few weeks ago. After Bear, the lead singer (who, by the way, has the best voice of all time) talked about their own recent struggles as a band, he sang a song that came out of it called "Wasteland."

When he hit these lyrics, I had tears in my eyes:

All of these people I meet
It seems like they're fine
Yeah in some ways I hope that they're not
And their hearts are like mine.

That's is, isn't it? All of this longing for authenticity is more than a desire to see things the way they really are--it's a need to connect. It's a need to see other people, especially people we admire, and realize that we aren't really that different.

That's why I like messy people.

Their hearts are like mine.


  1. I love this, and I wholeheartedly agree. I love messy, flawed people.
    Not to make this some sort of religious hijack, but i really relate to the uncertainty surrounding faith. Like so many people, I can have a hard time with religion and church, but the only thing i feel certain about is Jesus is really pretty awesome. that guy hung out with the messiest folks around. So that's the part I go back to.

  2. This is why I'm changing my blog - new name, new direction. I feel like the blogging world pushes us to constantly lie - everyone seems to have beautiful (clean!) homes, perfect families, they're incredibly creative, they eat a lot of amazing food and always stay skinny - my goodness, reading about all these amazing lives is so DEPRESSING. I look around my life and I live in a rental that I can't really customize, I'm single, I weight too much, and I don't spring out of bed with straightened hair and applied makeup, like some of these bloggers seem to. I got really mad realizing just how much some of the "popular" bloggers are lying - and I realized that I never want to be that type of person. Why isolate your audience? We're all human. Let people know that I'm every bit as flawed.

  3. Agreed. I love reading blogs, and yet there are several blogs that I've stopped reading because it's just exhausting to read about how perfect and magical someone's life is all the time. How can I keep up with that? And why would anyone read what I'm writing if that's the standard? I'm glad to hear that there are others who feel the same way and see the value in regular people blogs.


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