Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Living Deliberately

I want to live deliberately. Not in a constant state of reacting to something. Of course there are little things that I would react to living deliberately or not, but my life should be pursued. I should not always let life pursue me. I hope that forming a close relationship with God will help me to do that. I have been so guilty all my life of tuning out, waiting to get to the good things in life. I need to look around and realize that good things are happening every day!

This post has the sound of a good ramble already, and I'm not sure that I can navigate the circuitous routes of my mind. I feel incapable of writing what I'm thinking, which is such a shame because it looks like such a beautiful epiphany from my end.

I think I've always had a disordered relationship with technology. I distinctly remember telling a classmate in 3rd grade, "I couldn't live without TV." It's a wonder that I remember such an inconsequential snippet, but I do. Now I find myself yearning for the simplicity of life without TV. I know that will most likely never happen in this house given my husband's number one hobby is watching movies. When I watch a lot of television I feel like life is slipping through my fingers in mindless spectatorship. Television is something which numbs my mind and releases it from the responsibility of dealing with my burdens, which leads to prolonged anxiety. I've done pretty well at limiting my time with it when I'm home alone. I rarely turn it on anymore. I feel totally capable of using TV in moderation.

In the past I've had a sick addiction to the Sims 2. I remember days when I would play this game for about 6 hours straight, with only food breaks. I played and played until I realized that as I was playing this simulated life, I was completely ignoring real life. I forced myself to stop playing this game about 5 years ago and have been careful not to play it since. I was not capable of playing in moderation.

The problem-technology for me right now is Facebook. I am woefully addicted to it, and ever since I downloaded the Facebook app on my iPhone I have checked for updates on it near constantly throughout the day. In general I think of Facebook as a good thing, but for me it's poison. Two days ago I changed my password to a mystery password. I'm too chicken to deactivate or delete the thing, but it's a start. My problem with Facebook has been that it constantly makes me feel inferior to others. I can't appreciate the gifts that God has given me because I'm too busy coveting someone else's. It makes me have uncharitable thoughts toward people. It stimulates my people-pleasing tendencies in a bad way.

Perhaps most of all, I feel like God is leading me toward greater community interaction. Leaning and depending on other people. Needing them. Facebook gives me a false sense that I am doing just that, but in reality most of my relationships on Facebook are illusions. My time would be better spent seeing and speaking to people face-to-face. As an introvert, it's too easy for me to substitute one for the other and think I'm on the right track.

I can stop idolizing the activities, cleverness, social aptitude and general awesomeness of others and actually learn to like myself and live my own life without worrying about how others will perceive what I'm doing. Living my own life deliberately instead of reacting to trends and emulating other people.

Maybe like writing a blog. I feel like this post was my worst writing of all time, so scattered. I feel like I'm still missing something, but as G.K. Chesterton said, "a thing worth doing is worth doing badly."

Still, I remember going to Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church several years ago before I got married. This was when I was nominally Deist and the only interest I had in the church was it's beauty that I thought would look charming in my wedding pictures. I remember the gospel that day because it hit me like a ton of bricks, even though I never expected to get ANYTHING worth while out of the Bible. Ever.

The gospel was Matthew 5:29-30. It could have been more than those two verses, but those spoke to me that day. Mass attendance that day was a turning point. I didn't recognize it then, but I recognize it now. Anyway, I feel like the message in those passages is still for me with my relationship with Facebook. I thought the same thing in 2009 when I heard them for the first time. Clearly I am not capable of using Facebook responsibly if it continually causes me to sin.

So for now I'm cutting it off. Hopefully soon I will be detached enough to cancel my account altogether.

I'm going to write some more tomorrow, maybe about self-esteem and introversion.


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