Lent: turning off tuning in

I knew I wanted to make it a good Lenten season. Previously I’ve given up my cell phone, ketchup, meat, fried foods, and a host of other things I cannot remember. Ketchup was by far the most difficult, by the way.

There have been quite a few things going on which have largely felt out of my control. Yet, each situation has required an astronomical amount of energy from me. Last night I came home on empty. I went to the grocery store and bought all the ingredients for a cake. I needed to bake something. I bake when I’m upset and somehow the creating and the chemistry (a dash more of this, a pinch more of that) is soothing. I also came home knowing that the thing I’d been thinking about “giving up” for Lent was spot on necessary. I needed to turn off and turn in.

I’ve decided to abstain from various forms of social media. In effect, after today no more Facebook and no more Instagram. They are the two I consume myself with most readily. In fact, sadly scrolling Instagram sneakily became part of my morning ritual taking the place of my gratitude journaling. The effects have shown in my life. I desperately need my peace right now. I need to get to my center. So, I am giving up IG and incorporating back in my gratitude journaling and I am giving up Facebook and incorporating in walks with God. Yes, literal walks with God. I need time to reconnect with spirit and it is my hope that after Lent I can return to both with a renewed and different way of interacting with each medium.

I will not be giving up my blog. Nor will I give up tumblr as I use it for the class I’m teaching. It is not about disappearing from the Internet. For me, this year it is really about love. When I asked myself how I could love myself better through this time the only thing I could think of was to trust God and trust myself. But the lines of communication to either entity had become so clouded that I simply needed restoration. So I am allowing myself that in the best way I know how.

I talked to my class last night about how I teach, my method. And I shared with them that often I go about things in a manner some may find odd but it’s the only way I know how to do it. It’s instinctual and feels right but often in the moment I have no idea if it’s the right thing or how people will react. My core tells me that by and large people appreciate honesty and authenticity. Even if they hate what you’re saying.

So much of this life is guesswork. And we are all just doing the very best that we can. The decisions we make or don’t make, they are the consequence of our best judgment in that moment; right or wrong don’t shake out until after the fact. Maybe that’s another reason to be patient with people. Because we just want to do good but we are not always sure of the methods. Which is fair, no one has lived this life before us to show us the way. Emphasis on ‘this life’.

I suppose my last thought is one about richness. As I was baking I kept thinking what makes it rich with flavor. More eggs for fluff. Vanilla pudding for texture and flavor. Butter… I wanted facets and dimensions to it. The same is true of my relationships. And it is my hope that with the giving up of Facebook specifically I will be able to take advantage of the richness of my relationships. I will call more. They will call more. We will make dates and keep them. We can “lol” and be witnesses to each other’s tears too. I’m hoping for it all.

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