Why is it that humans crave connection and yet continuously shun it? Don’t believe me? Social media use is at an all time high but walk around a restaurant or park and for the majority, you’ll see the favorite new human posture…
We are seeking our connection from a distance – we have embraced the veil of the ONLINE. Our screens are filter portals and our keyboards weapons of both defense and offense.
We all do it – we post vacation pictures, our kids achievements, our workouts, our food/diets, sometimes our struggles, our life. And the filters! I’m as guilty as anyone.There’s this filter in snapchat that makes me look 20 YEARS younger…and it’s my very favorite! But what of that sharing is being done face to face?
Here’s what I think…
I remember distinctly thinking as a younger person that if you really knew me, you’d be appalled. It wasn’t so much about my past transactions but more along just who I was as a person. I was somehow lacking – and EVEN JUST YESTERDAY, I caught myself being surprised that someone famous in the Christian circles was having martial issues… because, deep down, that inadequate tendency can still rear it’s ugly head. Simply put – y’all have it all together and I’m still trying to figure it out.
But as I learn to confront that set of lies, I’m confronted with a new set of lies. Brené Brown names it foreboding joy and basically it means that when we experience deep joy we also feel extremely vulnerable…that the joy will not last and/or something tragic will end the joy party.
She goes on to say…
We’re trying to beat vulnerability to the punch. We don’t want to be blindsided by hurt. We don’t want to be caught off-guard, so we literally practice being devastated or never move from self-elected disappointment.
Good grief – I’m either not good enough or I’m afraid to embrace life because I might actually have a good time but I could also lose the good time so let’s not even try.
And that my friends sets the stage on why human relationships are dangerous and complicated. It’s easy for me to share this in the blog because I can brainstorm, I can edit, I can filter what I share, AND I’m the only one talking lol – in real life it’s a little more messy. I trip up on words, I hold back because I’m not sure how to edit, you might have something to say back, and face to face you can see the emotion and I can see yours. I’m also afraid you’ll confirm my inadequacy OR you’ll trample my heart as soon as I let my guard down.
AND THEN, there’s the responsibility of YOUR emotion. You read an emotional Facebook post or blog entry and maybe think “wow, glad that’s not me” or “that sucks” or even “I should reach out or call” and you click on the love or sad face like emoji and move along to the next post…maybe a comment if you’re feeling generous. There’s no responsibility, follow up, or connection! When someone opens up to you face to face you are connected in ways that the ONLINE will never be able to compare.
I’m going to leave you with a poem by Marianne Williamson. I love it because, #1 it names our deepest fear which really isn’t our darkness but our light. What if my light isn’t enough? How am I to even claim to have light? And then #2, when we decide to embrace our light we are encouraged to share the light. Not to play small or shrink from connecting with others but to SHARE ourselves with our fellow travelers.
it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Embrace your light, Share your light, in person,
Highly recommended reading…
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone