Updated: Oct 19, 2018
“Pick your battles,” my Nana used to always say. Never quite knowing the depth of her words at the time, I only took it as a scapegoat phrase used to get me to stop arguing. Looking back, most of my arguments were justifiable and I simply wanted to stand up for myself and find my voice as I matured, but those around me were not taught how to hold space and listen without judgment. I could not get what I needed if those around me did not know how to provide it.
I find at this time we are going through the same thing on social media and the cycle continues. We are all going through growing pains. We are each reverting back to our childhood in some way and are having to deal with our inner child wounds of not being compassionately heard. We end up acting like children in a virtual world trying to get someone to hear our voice, hear our message, hear our prayer by making one post. Sure, it could be sent out to thousands, even millions of people, but aren’t we missing something? I think of my Nana’s words.
And then, comes the judgment. Not from everyone around us, that’s what we signed up for—to post and be liked. Haters gonna hate, trolls gonna troll. The judgment comes from within. We wonder what others will think of us as we furiously type, erase, re-write that post and find the perfect picture to make it look like we are upholding to society’s timeline of where we should be in our lives and how that should look. As we scroll to see where others are or how their lives appear, we grow jealous, disheartened, and even may fall into depression as we play the comparison game. We see all the luscious green grass over on the other side of the screen and we forget to step away to water our own. We want to be seen. We want to be heard.
Is our emotional intelligence suffering? Is our inner child suffering? Is it worth being here when emotions can trigger the stress hormone and too much cortisol leads to illness? Perhaps we have created a battlefield instead of a face-space of insta-connectedness.
So, I began practicing being in the present and observing my emotions while scrolling through posts. I noticed my own anger and anxiety has catapulted while skimming political or personal posts that did not resonate with me or that made me want to fight in some way I didn’t feel I had to previously. I decided it was time to figure out how to make social media a more mindful place to be.