You might have seen our most recent music video, "Making Me New," which we recorded during the making of our album, "It's You."
A few months back when we got the first edited cut of the video, Christine, Maria and I saw it for the first time and loved it. But I had just one critique. I called our producer Britt and said:
"Put a filter on it."
I didn't think twice about it. Our skin looked a little too shiny, you could see some dark circles under my eyes, it all looked so... ordinary. We needed to smooth it out, brighten it up- with a filter of course. Simple solution.
A few weeks ago I was speaking and singing at a youth retreat in Corpus Christi alongside another Catholic evangelist. He was young, on fire, so authentic and said something that really struck me.
I gave my talk, which was about where we find true joy, and during which I showed our beautiful, filtered music video, "Making Me New."
When he got up to give his talk, the first thing he said to the audience was:
"Now listen up. You don't need no filter. Repeat after me. You don't need no filter! Turn to your neighbor and tell her... You don't need no filter!"
I was like, "Yeah! Wait! What? Huh? Shoot! Hold on..."
As I thought about it, I realized that I had just shown the audience a video in which the first thing I ever wanted to do was put a filter on it. But not only that, I have filters all over my life.
Life can't be ordinary anymore. We can't be ordinary. We need to filter everything, mask and paint it, so it will sparkle and shine and at least seem extraordinary.
When we asked entrepreneur Sean O' Hare on this week's Masculine Monday video about how he survives the crazy city of New York, one of the first things he said was, "community."
This reminded me of when I did a year-long experience in Community Cenacolo (a lay Catholic community with over 65 houses around the world, where young people can rediscover the joy of living through simple lives of work and prayer).
When I lived in community, there were no cell phones, no Internet or TV, no social media… And certainly no filters. Just ordinary (incredibly, sometimes almost painfully ordinary) life of work and prayer. We got up, we prayed, we ate, we cooked, cleaned, we worked around the house and the workshop, but did everything together.
It was one of the hardest, yet most joyful years of my life. Nothing made it spectacular. There wasn't anything really exciting going on- just real community, really unity, real connection, real intimacy. The kind we are all so hungry for, and the kind we block our lives from with filters.
What would it be like if we took a filter off our life? Get off of Facebook for a day or a week and reach out for real community, the kind your heart is really hungry for?
Instead of posting the perfect picture, go have coffee with a friend and actually share your heart. Share vulnerably. Share what's really going on. I know I struggle with this. I constantly need to practice on a daily basis putting down my phone and being present to God and those He has put in my life. Being present to life itself. And remembering I don't need a filter.
I can be myself, and share my struggles, brokenness and humanity- even share the dark circles under my eyes or the wrinkles that are starting to appear on my face without Clarendon, Rise, Valencia (or any other Insta favs).
Like my buddy said that day in Corpus, we just gotta be reminded sometimes, especially if we want to know real, authentic community in our lives...
"Girl, you don't need no filter."