I’ve intentionally pulled back on writing recently, except for the weekly photography project. So I thought I’d share a bit about why I’m not sharing much.
I have felt in recent months that this whole on-line, social media presence was sapping me dry a bit. Honestly, I’m really not a huge sharer–I don’t post every picture of every meal I eat, or every outfit I’m planning to wear, and I hardly ever update my status, except to point you to this space.
And yet. I’m feeling the pull in my heart and in my mind–the pull to live life in order to share it, instead of living life in order to live it. Does that make sense?
Really in truly, words are always spinning around in my head–I could write something every stinking’ day if I had the luxury of time to do that. I could spin a story out of a solitary sea shell if I wanted to. I could analyze myself and this world to death, all in words. I mean, come on, I’ve devoted entire posts to stories about roaches, so you and I both know I could write about dust if I wanted to.
But the thing is, sometimes the words in my head and my heart are too much. And for a while I thought the solution must be that I needed to write more–I’m a born writer, that’s how I solve life’s dilemmas, that’s how I process, so surely I just need more time to write. Somehow I need to make it a priority.
Ah, but no. It’s funny how the Lord works on hearts, but lately I’ve sensed him calling me to less writing, and more listening, more observing, more enjoying of life’s details. Taking the time to take a deep breath and focus on the here and now, instead of on the words that the here and now will produce.
It’s not only me falling back on the “be still my soul” phrase from one of my favorite hymns, which I love and cling to, it’s even just falling back on the word BE.
I’m learning that it’s okay to be–be home alone all day, doing laundry and planning meals, without a single share on instagram; to be present with my children without taking a single photo; to be open with my thoughts and express them verbally to my family, and not only writing them here or in a journal.
To be here for my neighbors, looking for ways to love and serve, with absolutely no “like” buttons attached to it, if you know what I mean.
To be okay with be-ing, if that makes any sense at all.
I’ve noticed this trend in our culture, and then in me, to want to be heard, seen, or acknowledged, and not just by one person, but by many. It’s somehow not quite enough to share a funny story with one friend or neighbor, we have to share it with hundreds. I do this too, obviously….
And I’ve found myself convicted more and more to resist the desire to seek approval from people, whether it’s in the form of likes or responses or comments or text messages, all the virtual high fives and pats on the shoulders that gives us a good little feeling inside.
I know this is the way of the world–this is how we exist now, this mass socializing and I can’t ignore it. And I’m not. I enjoy it, and I have *met* some amazing people on-line that I love following and even interacting with.
There’s inspiration in the sharing, and often much needed encouragement.
But pulling back and grounding yourself again can’t hurt either. Remembering the good ol’ days when you enjoyed lemonade out on your porch while the kids played with the neighbors, without a single other living person ever knowing about it.
Watching your boy play with earthworms and giggling with him about the creepy crawlies, without a single other living person getting wind of it.
Shopping for shoes and stopping for ice cream with the kids without a single.other.person. hearing about it.
Those were the days, right?
But friends, you can still do this. And I can too.
And even though I know none of use share everything, and we all have a life outside of social media, I just figure if I realized my mind was starting to bend that way, seeing life always as a possible shareable moment, on this space and elsewhere, then maybe you might be too.
I’m not vowing to be anti-internet or to stop writing all together, obviously, since I’m writing this and sharing openly again.
But I’m seeing the beauty in restraint right now, and in some ways it’s a discipline for me to choose other things instead of running to the keyboard to write out my life.
I’ve found myself pouring over Scripture laid out on my counter, and seeking the Lord’s words instead of my own.
I’m just reminding myself to live life to live, to serve, to love, and not just to *share* (in a social media sort of way).
Writing is good for my soul, sharing with you is a huge form of encouragement for me, and hopefully for you, and I know there’s more to come. And maybe I’ll be back into it next week, who knows? But it’s been good to allow myself a break from my ever ready pen and just BE.
I am curious if this connects with any of you…what are your thoughts?