We love to define people based on their worst, whatever their worst is. We also have this sick obsession with reminding people (the ones who did it and the ones who perhaps didn’t know what was done) about said sin/offense. We like to shame people, put them down so low until they’re ground into dust. We don’t like to see people overcome their “dirt”, their “filth”, their failures, their missteps. We celebrate watching people get knocked back down, possibly lower than where they started, who’ve fought to rise above their worst and do better, live better, BE better. We revel in their downfall. We dress in our Sunday best to watch them roast over the fire on the spit, and gleefully breathe in the scent of their burning flesh. What is it about this human nature that loves to watch folks crumble and then crawl? Why do we love to live in their past and never allow them to create a new future? We talk so much about God and forgiveness, often quoting the scripture that says God himself throws our sins into the sea of forgetfulness once we’ve confessed to Him and repented. I guess, according to human “wisdom”, we think God forgets to constantly remind us that We can’t change, even when washed in the blood of the Lamb. It’s funny, we talk about the devil/enemy so much and blame him for all of the evil in the world. We take no responsibility for reigniting the torches as we search for the next victim to lynch before the masses. Honestly, if we really want to see evil, we should simply look in the mirror.
We are living in a time when it is virtually impossible to disconnect from anything. With the advent of high-powered, high-tech handheld devices, we are all LITERALLY a swipe or thumbprint away from anyone and everyone else who’s “connected”. It’s virtually impossible to eat, sleep, or have private time (a.k.a. bathroom) without feeling accosted by the endless array of beeps, tweets, fweeps, honks, and the incredibly obnoxious, “You have a text message!” notifications. We feel so obligated to remain connected (kind of like being in “the matrix”) that when we realize we’ve missed “a call, a tweet, a text, or a notification” of any kind, that somehow we’ve failed as modern day human beings. We also cannot forget the flood of invitations that come our way via email, social media, and text messages requesting our attendance or financial support towards a celebration, a cause, or a human need. These constant bombardments and demands for our time and attention are exhausting and can create high levels of anxiety for even the most stoic of individuals. And for people like me, who suffer from anxiety disorders, it can almost become debilitating.
Because I am sensitive and a creative soul, I’ve often become overwhelmed by these constant demands. And yes, yes it’s very easy to say, “well just put the phone down”, or “shut it off”, or my personal favorite, “aren’t you being a little dramatic?” Well, that’s easier said than done in a world where you almost need to be available for opportunities, emergencies, and frankly, just to be informed whether your life or the lives of people you love are in danger. It’s almost as if we are doomed to an existence of over-access all the time.
But recently, I’ve reached an impasse. I’ve realized I don’t want to be accessible all the time anymore. I don’t want to always be “connected” or “available”. I’m learning to say no to over-access and no to constant demands. Social media almost demands a “yes” to everything that comes our way, but I say”no”. “No” to immediately answering every call, text message, tweet, comment, message, or post. I say “no” to feeling obligated to every invitation, request for financial support, and/or saving everyone needs saving. I can’t save the world. That was a difficult conclusion to come to and accept. I can’t fix everyone. Hell, most times it’s a monumental effort to attempt to “fix” me. But saying “no” doesn’t make me a bad person. Saying “no”, in an effort to preserve my peace, my sanity, and my functionality, is not only fine, but a necessary step towards self-care giving me room to grow and flourish.
People should try to understand, (though many won’t), that my “no” isn’t personal…at least not towards you. Please try to understand (although I’ll be just fine if you don’t because that’s your burden to bear, not mine) that my “no” might mean that I’m tired (mentally, emotionally and/or physically), that I already have too much on my plate and realistically cannot fit ANYMORE. Or that perhaps what you’re demands are are not necessarily of interest to me or related to what I believe my purpose is on this earth (sorry to be so deep but it’s real and it’s relevant to me). I promise. So please, don’t take my “no” personally, because personally, I’m just trying to take care of me.
Peace and blessings to you!
I see a lot of folks who try to “get back” at the people who’ve hurt them by using social media. They put folks “on blast”, reveal all of their secrets (which is super dirty if you’ve been close friends and shared things you’ve never, ever, EVER shared with anyone else on the planet), and basically “trash” them as far and as wide as possible. Social Media reaches so many people that those types of posts go viral before you know it and that can ruin and sometimes end lives. So, here’s my stance on this behavior…
“I don’t “do” petty. I don’t “do” revenge. I don’t “do” putting folks on blast. I don’t “do” telling all the secrets you’ve shared with me, even though in valley of my hurt, I’ve considered it. Seriously considered it. But I’ve learned that one betrayal shouldn’t be followed by another. I’ve learned that the callous, insensitive, and sometimes cruel actions of people who’ve claimed to love me and broke me down so low I became physically ill once it was revealed to me, does not define me or my destiny. So, what I will do is pray for you. I will wish you well. I will make sure that I don’t play a role in your downfall or demise. Life will take care of that. However I will cut you out of my life and never look back no matter much you’ve meant to me. I love too purely to waste it on anyone who uses, manipulates, and/or mistreats me. And once you’ve been put in that box, you’ll never get back into my heart.” @liane_elizabeth