Be still my soul and rest.
A couple of months ago I decided to take a social media break. I had many reasons, some I could not put into words. It wasn’t escapism I was after. I needed peace, to be able to see clearly, to decipher the goings on in my own heart. I needed to clear away the mental clutter. When disconnecting and disengaging is rest, it is an opportunity for self-care and renewal.
It’s great to have 24/7 access to all the social and online things. It’s quick, convenient, and never ending. At the same time, I have found frequent breaks provide a reprieve, time to recalibrate, to remember what’s true for me, to be rested, and to give myself a break from the noise of the world. It’s a healthy boundary I set, when I choose to step away. It gives me a chance to allow my mind and spirit a break from all the Internet overload.
Sometimes, though, there are challenges to disconnecting from AllTheThings. Sometimes there is resistance from within and from without. We may even question why we’re breaking away from connections and access to networks of family and friends. I’ve had all these kinds of thoughts. I have considered questions like: are you having trouble remaining connected? Why are you taking a break? Honestly, I could answer all the questions. I just knew I needed to break away. I’ve even struggled with the notion that I would miss some really cool things if I disconnected from the online world. I honestly think the constant-instant-all-the-time access to social media can be destructive and distort the way relate to one another and ourselves. For me, rest is an antidote.
Still, I decided to break away for a month. There would be no daily or hourly Facebook, Twitter, Instagram check in. I greatly limited my usage and exposure to the social media tools I constantly used. It was a good thing for me to do. I wasn’t perfect at using the extra time, but I did engage in creative practices like painting, writing, and contemplating deeper issues I’ve had to face. I have no regrets about taking the time for the many ways I practiced quiet rest.
I want to be more intentional about carving out time to do “real life” with real life people. Here’s a funny thing about social media. You can connect to people across the globe with similar interests and dreams. This has happened to me on more than one occasion. Once you meet an online friend in real life, you have a deeper connection. For that, I am grateful! I am also thankful for the way those connections have inspired me to live more fully in my right-now life. It has meant stepping away from the social busyness, and investing in myself, in others, and in my creative and not-so-creative endeavors.
Something must have shifted in me, because September came around soon after my online break. It wasn’t until I sat to write an article for a writing group that I realized why I needed to break away. (Funny how the soul whispers what we need before our finite minds catch on.) My soul needed room to grieve, to rest, and to recover. I had spent so much time moving, doing, and investing in others that I nearly neglected myself. Thank you, soul, for your incessant whisper. When disconnecting and disengaging is rest, it is an invitation to be not to do.
I am pondering these days what rest can look like. It’s been my word for 2015, but from the looks of it, I didn’t quit do as much resting as I thought. There’s grace for that, and so I listen as my heart whispers, take care of you because you’re worth it. I hear the refrain of a good friend too, “be a good mama to your soul.” So here’s to resting and stewarding this physical temple. We are all worth the self-care in which we invest. It’s how we can love our own selves well so we can love others well.
This post is a part of my 31 Days of Writing challenge and the second half of the lemonade stories. There are more stories to tell and moments of when to live through. It’s all about taking the sour things of life and reframing them to find the sweetness of faith, hope, and resilience. I hope you’ll join me on this month-long journey. You’ll also find me sharing bits and pieces on myTwitter and IG accounts. I’d love to see you here, and you can also subscribe to my blog/newsletter here.