A few thoughts on the world we are creating -
I had a friend who was going through a rough time, and she reached out to me because she felt guilty about posting her life's highlight reel on Facebook. She thought she was lying to everyone because she was suffering so deeply at the same time. My friend asked for my advice. I told her -
- You do not belong to everyone, and you especially do not belong to Facebook. You only belong to yourself and to anyone to whom you've trusted and given freely of your heart. Posting joyful photos of sharing an indulgent, summery ice cream sundae with her son was definitely not lying - in the midst of all she was going through, this was definitely an authentically happy moment. It was the truth, and she was not lying to those who followed her on social media. My friend, however, was telling her truth with grace. The grace that knows how much of her heart belonged to the public/Facebook and the grace to know how much of her heart to share with me, privately. This grace is divine wisdom, and it saves us. Facebook (and social media) isn't only about what you consume; it is also about what you share. The corporation that runs Facebook and the busy-bodies that troll it want to know everything about you for their own selfish and perhaps even greedy profit-driven reasons - but you do not need to provide it to them. Remember: you belong to you. Give yourself fully only to those that will protect and guard your heart. Grace and truth together are the most poignant remedy for that from which the soul suffers - and they will help you to know to whom you belong.
"I got a letter from somebody here a while back, and they said, 'Bob, everything in your world seems to be happy.' That's for sure. That's why I paint. It's because I can create the kind of world that I want, and I can make this world as happy as I want it. Shoot, if you want bad stuff, watch the news." - Bob Ross, The Joy of Painting
- You create the world you want. What you share with your community and what you click on social media contribute to a collective consciousness that we all live in every day. No, of course, the world is not all positive-ice-cream-sundaes-rainbows-and-unicorns-love-and-light. The world is a yin-and-yang mix of dark and light, and dark within light, and light within dark. The world is a mix of love and hate with a seemingly never-ending battle to shine more light where the darkness persists. So, are you pumping out more darkness into the collective consciousness? Are you shining gentle lights into corners of the world that need it? Are you sharing information that shocks and incites fear into your own heart and/or others'? Are you being baited or baiting others to click on links that shock and incite fear? There is already a lot of darkness in the world, and a lot of hate, too. I listen to NPR, BBC, and French newscasts throughout the day. Very rarely are these broadcasts sharing something with me to remind me that - hey, we are all going to be okay because people are working toward the common good despite everything in their way. It's important to know that the world struggles so we can change it; however, it is also good to know how the world is overcoming it right here and now. We need more balance. When you contribute to social media, passively or actively, you consume. Are you consuming darkness? Are you consuming light? Are you balanced? How are you creating the world you want to see through your consumption and sharing on social media? Here, too, as we consume, we must seek and share the truth with grace.
Truth without grace is mean.
Grace without truth is meaningless.
Truth and grace are medicine.
- Chris Hodges