And then I grab my phone. I check instagram where I notice I have lost 5 followers and I feel this quick pang of disappointment, frustration, rejection. I go on facebook and see post after post that breeds anger in me; opinions and articles about parenting, faith, Ferguson, food, education, politics. I comment on a few posts, mostly kind but some argumentative, and for quite awhile after I am only half paying attention to the world around me while continuously refreshing facebook in order to reply to the random strangers that I am arguing with.
How quickly and completely I let the true, the good, the beautiful, the real, my peace, my life's moments, be destroyed. Destroyed by people I don't know, destroyed by the opinions of others, destroyed by information, words, thoughts, ideas that are not inline with my own.
Seven years ago I stopped watching, listening to and reading the news. Without a source feeding me the fears, events and opinions of the world, I was free to live my life simply, in peace, focused on our family, trusting God. I wasn't completely ignorant; friends would tell me about important things or I would see a quick headline on yahoo, and if I felt the news warranted my attention I would look into it. The news that I paid attention to was scarce and of my own choosing; the beauty of life was prominent and everywhere.
And yet here I was, ignoring beauty of autumn sun setting around me, cup of tea cold, book left unread, being filled with the exact same things that I had set out to avoid all those years ago; fear, opinion, the unimportant. Being filled with them on a much larger scale, in a way that consumed my heart, mind and emotions like never before. I had unknowingly let that medium back into my life; unnecessary knowledge now with the ability to share my view on it with everyone.
I am a pacifist and yet here I was arguing with a stranger about pacifiscm. My words were not filled with love and kindness, I was not being mindful with my tongue, I was worked up and angered over this person's views and the way they portrayed my God and their love of our criminal justice system, and I was just spewing garbage. "But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." " out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." There is a reason for all of the verses on the tongue and no, I'm not using my tongue but it's utterly the same. My head is being flooded with news and opinions and my heart is subsequently filled with emotions ranging from anger to frustration to happiness to pride to jealousy to disgust and the world we live in gives us a microphone and my heart just overflows right out of that microphone onto a screen.
As I am going through this unnatural range of emotions and sharing them with whoever happens to be on the same thread as me, I'm simultaneously living my life. Kissing my children's scraped knees, reading classics aloud to a room full, taking a walk through our neighborhood listening to my kids sing and watching out for hidden deer in the oaks while having these crazy, bipolar emotions as I scroll through my phone. This can't be healthy, this world we have created. It's eating away at our lives, our moments, our peace. We agree and bemoan it and then, we carry on the same as before.
My worth is not wrapped up in my instagram followers. My views and cares are not any less if I keep them to myself or if someone else's differ. I will not disappear, I will not be ignorant, I will not be nobody if I am not on social media. But. I will suffer if I keep allowing it's influence into my life. I will suffer if I remain distracted. I will suffer if I allow my emotions to be tossed around by the thoughts of others.
I want to hear the birds sing. I want to watch the pink orange glow of the sunset over the hills. I want to hear every little story my children tell and smile at every amazing thing they do. I want to feel wind kissing my cheek. I want to read books and learn and grow without the influence of a thousand voices. I want to enjoy my moments without having one hundred people "like" them. I want to live every single day, breathe deeply, dance unabashedly, feel, hear, taste, smell, see life. Because we only get one. I refuse to waste it.