I’ve always thought to myself, “there is no way I’ll EVER post this picture” because although I loved it, I found a way to pick out everything that was wrong with it. I kept worrying about my hair looking too dry, my distressed top looking too homemade, and my face looking like I had one too many shots of whiskey. Blah, blah, blah. Typical, right?

I was so busy focusing on why this picture wouldn’t be “likeable” that I forgot why I even loved it in the first place: I was in my element; I was at peace; I was happy, and I felt free. To think of all the reasons why I was so reluctant to share this moment reminds me of the toxic frame of mind that we are all guilty of having from time to time: the curse of “I’m not good enough.”

For some, the curse of “I’m not good enough” starts with comparison, which eventually grows into a battle of self vs. everyone else on reality television, Instagram or Snapchat. For others, the curse of “I’m not good enough” may have stemmed from childhood years: being misunderstood in the home, or lacking the acceptance of others in school.

Either way, this curse, to some extent, reveals an authentic form of brokenness in all of us. As a generation, we have become so consumed with the perception and opinions of others that we’ve made it our duty to post and flaunt things that appear to be acceptable in their eyes — all because we want to “be like them so bad.” In turn, we’ve made ourselves sick and reliant on stimulants to make us feel good about ourselves.  As opposed to being renowned as the “carpe diem” generation, we are now referred to as the millennials who suffer from severe depression and anxiety.

What happened to us? When did we stop caring about finding our peace? When did we make a trend of worrying about what others thought of us? But most importantly, how can we stop damaging ourselves on the inside?

We unplug.

For a few months, I unplugged from everything to really focus on finding my peace. I steered away from all of the things that brought about self loathing through comparison. In my brokenness, I isolated myself from everything and every toxic person around me. I took the time to focus on what was hurting me on the inside and I gave myself the chance to finally get it all out. I cried, meditated, found therapeutic activities, and I had several angry talks with God. Finally, I took the time to unlearn my definition of the perfect life and find the beauty of life for what it was in the moment. I began to appreciate the not so great things in my life and I documented every horrifying experience as something I could one day use as a stepping stone.

Getting back to my point.  I archived this photo because I fell in love with everything that made it imperfect.  I may not have been on a beach, sipping the finest champagne, rocking the most expensive brazilian hair, and flaunting the craziest body, but I was in a place that allowed me to be the most unfiltered version of myself on that particular night. I did’t try to twist the reality of what was going on, and I didn’t try to create the “perfect caption” to make this appear to be something more.  I just embraced it for what it was in that moment, because in that moment, I was in my happy place.

That, my dear friends, is how we unplug.

I encourage you, wherever you are, to take the time to unplug if you have not done so already. Take a solo drive to the beach. Focus on your thoughts. Focus on what you like and the things you love to do. Give yourself some time to be angry with God (it’s normal), but also, allow yourself to be vulnerable with Him so He can get you back on the right track.

I promise. This will be the greatest thing you have ever done for yourself.