We live in a very strange time. Loss, sadness, anger and anxiety have become commonplace and I see hopelessness in many eyes. The truth is that we are in uncharted territory and live with uncertainty, fear, disinformation and are required to make choices and decisions that we don’t feel equipped to make.
Over the past weekend I was privileged enough to spend time with wonderful friends in nature. We were all disconnected from the digital world for two days, and what happened was a miracle.
We connected with ourselves and each other. We laughed and played and went on a hike. We got to sleep properly and share our love and friendship. We filled our empty cups and left with renewed determination and grace.
This profound and truly heartfelt experience had me wondering about our current state and problems and what can be done to help people feel better. We read and hear about the problems and effects of social media, and the addictive behavior it causes. The thing with addiction is that the thing you are addicted to doesn’t matter; it is the behavior of the addict that causes devastation. Disengagement, aggression, conflict, etc. happen and the loved ones feel frustration, loss and hopelessness. The addict is not of service and doesn’t contribute to the wellbeing of society.
All of us have degrees of addiction, so it might be worth looking at our own lives and the feelings we have and cause.
I know that when someone says ‘disconnect’, we could become overwhelmed and find it impossible to even contemplate such a thought. Perhaps we can start by saying “Just for today”, or “Just for a morning”, “Just for an hour” – whatever you can manage, and get involved in real life, with real people you can touch and feel. Spend a bit of time in nature and use your God-given senses to take in the wonder of Creation. A real mountain is magnificent, the smells and sounds cannot even be imagined! No picture can invoke the feelings of true, lived experience, and no story can be told as a first-hand account can.
Just for this moment, put your phones and judgements aside. Just for now, look someone in the eye. Just for today, serve others by being with them. Just for today, make the decision to be kind and gentle. Just for now, be the real you in the real world.
I ask only one thing of you today – take a deep breath, remember your values, apply them to real people and real relationships, and feel what it feels like.
You are wonderful and have gifts to give; give them.