Wild heart identity

It’s time to acknowledge the damaging effects that social media has on people’s self-image […] It’s just another reason why we are living in a world of FOMO, sadness, increased anxiety, and Snapchat dysmorphia.*

My ears pricked up to photographer Rankin speaking on the radio about the damage the obsessive selfie culture is having on personal image and identity among the young.

Rankin shares how he took pictures of fifteen teenagers and invited them to modify these for uploading to social media using their phone apps. None of the subjects chose to upload without any enhancement – and these were pictures taken by a professional photographer. You can see their chosen effects by following the link, below: bigger eyes, plumper lips, smaller noses being some of the main alterations.

The work I do is about people’s discovery and embracing of their true self or identity. These are not things to be found on the outside but the inside: passion, talents, purpose, energy. As Joseph Campbell saw, long before anyone had dreamed of smart phones and picture-altering apps:

technology is not going to save us. Our computer, our tools, our machines are not enough. We have to rely on our intuition, our true being’.**

Wild heart identity is about the “intuitive me” to be found within each of us, each “me” being different. It’s what Brené Brown names as our “wilderness”:

Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you made that your goal.^

Selfies, as a way for scouring people’s faces, leads away from each person’s unique wilderness, their true wildness where they find themselves most alive.

Belonging is who we are becoming, our wilderness; fitting in is the dangerous alternative.

The path we each must walk, whether as an alternative to the one we are on, or as our means of continuing, is one marked by humility, gratitude and faithfulness.

Humility in embracing who we truly are and not someone else.

Gratitude through opening our eyes wide to see all that we are and have.

Faithfulness is understanding that it is a path we must walk, through the minutes and hours of each day.

(*John Rankin Waddell, quoted in an ArtnetNews article.
(**From Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers’ The Power of Myth.)
(^From Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness.)

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