Life Doesn’t Fit On A Screen

Life doesn’t fit on a screen and that is OK.

It is important to remember that life is bigger and more complicated than what a tweet, photo, article, post, update, or YouTube video can convey.

This is not about hiding the negative and only sharing the polished positive versions of ourselves online. This is about giving people permission to have private matters in our lives without feeling shame or blame.

It is ok to:

  • feel sad,
  • be mad,
  • make a mistake
  • have an unpopular opinion,
  • do something weird,
  • be boring,
  • be unproductive or super productive,
  • or just keep something to yourself for no reason at all.

When I see a photo of your cat, I’m happy to see your cat but I don’t think you are the crazy cat lady. I know there is more to you than I’m being shown.

Vulnerability online is fine and good but even that is still just a shadow of real life. It is an image of an image pointing to something else. Don’t feel bad about your online self not being 100% you, it never will be. You are 100% human and that doesn’t fit on a screen.

All that being said don’t keep things bottled up that are causing you harm just because you don’t want to share them online. Share them with just one safe person. It could be a friend, a teacher, a family member, your therapist, spiritual director, pastor, priest, or a help line. You can also try praying. I believe that God sees us fully and loves us fully (no exceptions).


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Rage

Yesterday I was enraged. Just livid. I wanted to unleash my righteous anger and to teach the offenders a lesson. As I was heading home to compose the most scathing of social media posts I was stopped. Luckily I don’t have data on my phone so I couldn’t instantly express my rage. As I was stomping off to the bus stop I turned on the podcast I downloaded.

Every Monday I listen in to the Sunday teaching from the Meeting House church. I use to tease meeting-housers (mostly in good fun but sometimes in jealousy) for being a mega church with a 1984 style talking head projected onto movie screens. A number of years ago I started listening to the sermons they post. 9 years ago I became a Mennonite and was looking for accessible voices from an Anabaptist perspective (the tribe of theology Mennonites are part of). The Meeting House fit the bill.

Fast forward to yesterday and I’m hearing Bruxy Cavey (a Meetinghouse teacher) talk about how social media has become a tool for “othering” and self righteousness. Feeling a little calmer I wrote a couple private emails to people and organizations directly and then I drew this picture in my art journal. I don’t want to be a person of rage (justice yes, rage no). I also don’t want to inspire rage and hate in people who disagree with me. I want to be full of grace & peace and be a person that is open to healthy conversations steeped in grace & peace.


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