Filtered (Unfiltered)

Every now and then, we must write unfiltered. To do so is usually an act of courage.

Writing unfiltered in an incredibly filtered and harsh world can be an extremely difficult task. But it’s something we need to do.

It allows others to see us for who we really are. And it allows for others to see themselves, as well. So often we see ourselves when we’re looking at someone else.

If our thoughts are unfiltered, why are our words? Even in my darkest writings, I find myself to be constantly filtering and adjusting. Altering my words to be more “acceptable” or palatable.

I would argue that honesty does not imply unfiltered writing. You can be honest, and still filter out certain parts of yourself. You can leave out details, thoughts, or change the wording or verbiage to tone it down. It’s still honest…but it’s certainly filtered.

And then that honesty starts to feel…just a bit less honest. It feels disingenuous and it starts to feel less and less like me. It sounds exactly like me…but it doesn’t feel like me.

Who benefits from these filters that we apply to ourselves? Do you? I know I don’t. There is absolutely a time and place for filters to occur. But in writing…in a space where I’m aiming to be as real and honest as possible…I struggle to find any good reason why I should be restraining myself when writing. Why any of us should.

But we do so seamlessly, automatically even. It’s become so natural to filter the most real, raw parts of myself.

I write for me, but I also write for you. The reader, whoever reads this. Possibly, you’re here reading this because you might have found something I said or felt to be relatable. And isn’t it a disservice to filter out the parts of me that someone else might be desperate to relate too?

So much of what I’ve read from others and loved and related to the most has been pure, unfiltered, relatable pain. It can be hard to read, but the words they use match my feelings so perfectly. I wouldn’t be the person I am without the growth I’ve gotten from reading the most unfiltered and vulnerable things that some people have the courage to put out there.

It takes strength to feel. It takes even more strength to acknowledge that pain, and then put it into words.

Avoidance is easy (until it’s not). It’s so much harder to confront ourselves. To show up and recognize our pain, to put it out there. Unfiltered.

It’s not something I’m good at.

But it’s something I’m going to aim to be a lot more intentional about. It doesn’t do anyone any good for me to sit here telling half truths, avoiding the hard things, or filtering any part of it.

Whenever anyone asks me a question about “why I’m here” or “what am I here for” or anything like that…my response is ALWAYS the same.
“I don’t know, I just show up.”
I guess this is me doing that….
Continuing to show up.

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