“To sabbath is to observe what God does when you’re not doing anything.”Manuel Arteaga
These past 6 weeks have been a time of intentional withdrawal from the daily routines of social media scrolling and seeking discernment over distraction. For Lent this year I gave up social media during the week. At first, it was really hard to press into bored moments of loneliness or breaks between tasks without turning to my phone for an escape. I truly feel addicted to my phone, especially social media, and I don’t want to live with the dependence anymore. In this time to deny myself of simple entertainment, I’ve learned that it’s okay to sit with uncomfortable moments of silence and boredom. There are other forms of entertainment I enjoy now like reading a book from the library or finishing a puzzle on my kitchen island bar. I’ve found I don’t need to know what other people are up to all the time through social media. If I want to know what my close friends are up to, I just text or call.
My reflections during Lent–
- Starting off the Lent season with a week-long hiking trip to Big Bend was the best way to practice intentionally stepping out of routines and Wi-Fi in order to reconnect with myself. It sparked creativity, deeper friendship with Mickie (one of my best friends on the planet), and reminded me of the joy of simple living.
- Lent is a time of self-denial of pleasures, entertainment, or distractions in order to remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and how He overcame temptations in His own life. Being able to resist little things prepares us to resist the more difficult temptations in the future.
- Spiritual surrendering looks like reckoning with my deep need for God to intervene in areas that I either can’t face on my own or have neglected for years. It’s loosening the tight grip and opening my palms to let go, and at the same time, receive soul-satisfying healing. How do I do this? Pray, “Hey God, I need help!” It’s coming to God in humility and realizing that doing things my way isn’t working anymore.
- “Not thinking, just existing.” -Mickie
- I deserve to be fully loved without the pressure to be perfectly put together. My worth does not depend on how beautiful I am, my outfits and makeup, or my social performances and interactions. I know this to be true now, but I have yet to find someone who I am dating to prove that I do not have to be perfect all the time to be wanted. I put that pressure on myself, and it takes some time to feel comfortable to let my guard down and feel secure. I have felt the overwhelming need to be physically beautiful or the person I am interested in will leave me. I realize now this thought process is a prison of insecurity and fear, and it does not reflect me at my best. I’ve felt these fears for years, and it wasn’t until dinner with my best friend where I could voice these thoughts that I realized how these fears have affected my confidence in dating relationships.
- Dating sites have perpetuated my physical insecurities that my beauty equals my compatibility and desirability to be in a healthy relationship. I am trying to break this thought process, and dating sites do not help in that effort. I want to be friends, like good friends who talk about life and have chill hangouts with no expectations, before I seek a dating relationship in the future. Encountering someone with the expectation that they will be a romantic connection first and only with no basis of friendship is not for me anymore. It’s too stressful and takes out the joy of getting to know someone.
- The will to keep going is just as important as the physical strength to do so.
- “Slow or fast, we both still get to the end.” The competition to get to a certain life milestone by a particular age is unnecessary. We all get to where we are going, so take the time pressure off. The pressure to have a career by 27 or be a mom by 30 doesn’t matter to me anymore. I’d rather take my time getting where I want to be with patience and good outcomes than rush into something I am not ready for.
- Emotional availability is a desirable quality in someone. Who cares about your 5 year plan if I can’t relate to you and hear what you’re going through now?? Sharing feelings is hard, not impossible.
- Seeking distraction and escape does not bring healing, only delayed disappointment.
- I struggle with impulsivity. I did not fully realize this until this year. I used to (and probably still do) have a hard time with impulse spending and jumping into situations I am not 100% ready for because of a good feeling. Getting a library card to help me not impulse buy books has been such a relief and fun way to save money.
- Boundaries produce more compassion. Resisting temptation and following boundaries in my life has grown me into a more mature woman.
- Purge the clutter! Spring clean out the extra clothes in the closet, the catch-all kitchen drawer, and the mindsets that hold us back from freedom.
What have you learned or experienced during this season?
Petit à Petit,