Virtual kindness

i am enough

The feeling of inadequacy.

Reading the posts,

Browsing the pictures,

Comparing and judging my day to theirs.

Worrying about if we are doing it right.

Worrying about our journey, rather than feeling it.

Thinking,

Snooping,

Comparing

Is it all worth it? Our obsession with social media?

Does it all pay off?

I have been thinking a lot about social media and its hold on our lives. Is our obsession with sharing and knowing making us better people by allowing us to share our accomplishments and lean on each other in the hard times or is it allowing for more judgement and hurt feelings?

Our technological era has high potential. High potential for positivity. A larger scale of connection. A stage in which we can all be there for each other, supporting and loving one another while staying connected. Social media allow us to voice our opinions, share our ideas and change the world. It can be a virtual place for positive change and connection. It holds power. The power for us to feel connected as a society.

We are drawn to that connection. Its human nature. And social media allows for connection, with a sense of aninimity. It creates a diminished sense of disappointment with our rejections. Less attachments to the outcome. This seems easier, but is this healthy?

I have dove right into the ideals of social media. Hoped that it would live up to its potential. I have  hoped that it would allow me to become that person who can celebrate others accomplishments and be the one who will be there when it is needed, but unfortunately social media exacerbated the negative in me. The jealousy, the judgement and the comparing. It has distanced me from my truth, my authentic life by keeping a hold on me. Festering my comparisons, pushing me to belittle my own life. This always ends up making me feel frustrated and I lash out in jealousy.

It is a completely frustrating process and very unhealthy.

I have been really trying to work on this over the past week. While I browse photos, read post and status and review blogs, I have been stopping at every feeling of insecurity or negativity. I stop and ask myself:

‘why does this bother me?’

I simply wait for the answer, and let it sink in. The answer surprises, scares and overwhelms me. I am forced to see the truth in my insecurities. Forced to tackle my jealousy and negative feelings. The process is hard, but I know it is worth it. It is worth it because I am slowly becoming a strong, happier and better version of me.

I am really working of diving head on into the positivity that social media can bring. I am getting closer to celebrating, working with and supporting my fellow companions in the virtual world. I am getting closer to becoming the person who genuinely celebrates accomplishments and will be there when you need a hug, even if it is a virtual one.

 

“The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.” — Brené Brown

 

Much love,

Jessica

Let us in

This weekend has been filled of moments that can only be described as ‘signs’. Spiritual or not, sometimes we can simply not deny the existences of theses wonders or signs. Moments when it is so completely obvious what you need to do, you just need to stop talking and listen.

Let me explain. 

I dropped my ladies off at their great grandma’s for a sleep over. They were excited, she was excited, I was excited. It was nice. It allowed me to have some banking in some quality time with my Canty-boy. As a third child, he sometimes just gets dragged along in the process of the day. Just him and I was needed. Some moments of just him and daddy are needed too. So to start the morning off, I took some ‘me time’. My sweet son stayed home with daddy while I headed up to my sisters for a hair cut and color. 

I left my sisters house feeling fresh and rejuvenated. My new hair was giving me a sense of confidence (interesting how ‘nice hair’ can really give you a spring in your step) and my sister and I set out plans to go the city and so some shopping. As soon as Canty woke up from his nap, we were on our way. 

The drive to Ottawa was my favorite part of the afternoon. I actually got to talk to my sister about other stuff, deeper stuff (not just babies and gossip). It is nice to connect to her. 

One moment in particular, We were talking about feeling sensitive in the world, and how our extremely sensitive emotions have created dilemmas for us growing up. She asked me if I ever rehashed old conversations in my head, things I have said in the past, that embarrassed me. She asked me if I ever replayed those conversations over and over again for days, constantly feeling embarrassed. I told her I did that all the time, really who didn’t? We talked about crazy that is. You put yourself under so much scrutiny over something you said, but really the recipient to that conversation probably doesn’t even remember that moment at all. 

I got to thinking, We all do this, scrutinize and degrade ourselves. We live in our own heads, worried about appearance and how we present our selves. We are worried about first impressions and what to show people who we are so we will be liked. Really, most of us just simply want to be liked. It isn’t too much to ask for, We just don’t want to feel alone. We want to make friends and be someone that people want to be around. I think most of us want this, too some extent. 

More moments like this happened this weekend. Moments of honesty. 

I took my children to church on Sunday. I had to teach Sunday school so we headed out earlier then usual. Once we go there and were setting up, I knew that today was not the best day to try and ‘control’ my children. Canty was extra squirmy and active and the Ladies were recovering from a sleep over. They were exhausted and full of epic melt downs. In the first 30 minutes we were there, there was 4 meltdowns and I had to retrieve my son and a handful of craft supplies from a reverends dog’s water dish. Needless to say, I had little patience. I got through teaching a basket weaving craft with the kids (while trying to not get frustrated by the ample amount of whining by the Ladies and glue eating by Canty.) We got through the craft moderately unscathed, but then It came. A moment I am not proud of. I seemed to be pulling off ‘church mom’ pretty well ( I should have seen this as a sign, I should never try and ‘pull’ off anything. I should really just be myself….) until the whining melt down of the century occurred. The basket was not looking like it should for my daughter Charlotte. It was not what the oldest girls basket looked like and she lost her mind. Screaming, crying and whining. I had no patience left. I spoke to her in a tone that was not anything I heard form any other church moms. I just wanted it to end.

After Sunday school, We headed up to church and it didn’t really get much better. Canty was trying to play the organ, The twins were fighting and crying about the most interactions they were having with each other. The girls were chasing Canton around. It was chaos. I finally told them all to sit. The girls started to cry, Canty squirmed and screamed. They were all ‘off’. I knew this was going nowhere fast so I scooped them all up and headed started to head home. I plunked the kids at the back of the church and went back to our pew to get my bag. Tears of frustration were streaming down my face as I listened to all three of a kids scream in the back vestibule. Once I approached my kids, It was obvious that I was crying.

I went to pick up a toddler boy from a full melt down off the floor when I felt a tap on my shoulder. A woman I have never seen before came to help me. She was probably a mother too, maybe ever a grandmother. She saw that I was gone. Lost in my mind and feeling alone. She wanted to help me and I was too embarrassed. Screaming children and a crying mom. I said thank you but we were heading out and quickly rushed out of there. 

I wish I would have hugged her. cried on her shoulder for a moment. Thanked her for saving me from the chaos. I wish I would have let her help. But I didn’t, because I was too embarrassed by the way I appeared. 

I walked home with the kids, distraught and frustrated wanting nothing more then to get home, leave them with daddy and disappear for a few hours. I though that would be the best way for me to deal. Disappear into my head.

But there were other plans for me. 

Once we arrived home, the kids got into the kitchen first and were yelling at me to come quick. Daddy had made lunch for us and it was waiting on the table. Once in the house with a vibrant and happy Daddy, the kids livened up. They laughed, they ate and then they went up stairs for a nap. 

I didn’t disappear and go to be alone. I stayed and laughed. I stayed and slept with them. I stayed among people who wanted to help. 

What I am learning form all these ‘lessons’ and ‘moments’ from the weekend is that we need to feel embarrassed together. It is that only way truth can be seen and we can help each other. This world is a lonely place when we hide our truth and hide our honest selves. We need to ask for help and let people in. Cry in the arms of women a church and laugh off our embarrassing moments together. 

I know these signs were placed in my life to remind me to let people in. To remember I cannot do everything. To remind me that I cannot do this alone. None of us can do this alone. We have to let each other in.

Image

photo Courtesy of meetville.com

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
―Ann Landers

 

Much love, 

Jessica