May 27, 2016
There are times that I feel hounded by the things around me to DO more than I can. I feel as if that is the main battle I face everyday... to DO instead of to BE. Let me back up to the place I was when I found these thoughts and captured them.
Instagram. YouTube. It was a combination of the two and a deletion of an account by my dear friend that brought me to the place I am today.
Clutter. Images, highlight reels, pictures, videos, articles, EVERYTHING was flying at my mind 100 miles per minute. Pinterest. Scrolling, scrolling... forever looking, finding, liking. The endless pit that is social media. If we didn't have to sleep at night, I am sure that some people would keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Forever. This thought, however daunting, scares me.
And so I began to think of my social media accounts. why do I have them and what do I use them for? There are days that I point blank avoid Instagram because I just do not think that I can take the scrolling. It is a never ending highlight reel of other people and their lives.
When did we become so addicted to watching other people instead of participating in their lives?
The idea that I can watch someone's life unfold in front of me and never actually know or talk to that person is SO weird. It is like reality tv, except bad script writers did not write these scripts...we did. We pick and choose what comes out in the public eye. Just like politicians drafting an important speech for a press conference, we pick and choose and paste our words and pictures, carefully, making sure the world only sees a small portion of us through our 2 cm lense and three inch tall phone screen. *Click.* Is it good? Do I look ok? Did you get my good side? Oh man my hair looks bad, my eyes are closed. Hmm take another! *Click* We look good! I'll post it. Now what should I say? What should I say? But not only that, we feed off of other people's likes, comments, followers, pins, the list goes on.
When did we start equating our worth to how many friends we have or how many people follow us on fb or insta?
And so I come to today's thought: Clutter. The problem with clutter is that it continues and grows unless you take actual time to "de-clutter." Dishes pile up, projects pile up, mail piles up unless you make a conscious decision to say NO to the clutter, clean it up, throw things away, or get rid of what you don't want. Give it to someone who needs it.
We have so much in America, all around us. It's hard not to become obsessed with what we have, or don't have, or what that person over there has, or what the grocery store carries. It's just plain truth.
So now comes my problem. HAHA! Yay! I have a problem! I had a friend who always got/gets really excited when he had/ has a problem, because it gives God the opportunity to show up and show off. I mean, Love only wants good things for us, so it makes sense.
So back to my problem.
The problem is that I am a creator.
My life goals and what I do, even my job, revolves around creating. I do not take this lightly. This is my I AM, my BE. As the daughter of the most incredible creator of the universe, literally "Create-or," I have awesome capabilities and constant ideas. As do you. I believe the more we come into our identity as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, we look for more ways to create. This can be creating relationships, campaigns, pictures, projects, music...etc. We create every day, all the time. We create meals to eat and playlists to listen to. We are creators!
SO, my problem as a creator is getting my creativity drowned out by the clutter around me, or shall I say the media, news feeds, videos, etc... basically other people's creations around me. Don't get me wrong, some things are straight up inspiring. For reals. Have you seen my friend Anni's photography? Freaking inspiring. But there are other things that if I don't take the time to de-clutter and move through the mud of, I can get quite stuck. I get stuck re-posting, re-tweeting, reviewing all these other creations, but I never take the time to create myself. I never take the time to let what naturally comes out of me as a creator, actually come out of me. If I pin a thousand and one pins of patterns to Pinterest but never sew a single thing... what does that make me? A creator without a creation. And what is a creator without a creation? Well, by definition of the word, not a creator at all.
I think the main thought I am wishing to put on the table is this: Who are we and what do we have coming out of us? Is it jealousy, dissatisfaction, and discouragement? Or is it life, beauty, and peace? What is a creator without his/her creation? There are a lot of things in life that are going to make us say "Woah, I want to do that!" or "Wow, I wish I was friends with that person!" or "That poem was so freaking good, I want to write like that!" But honestly, what are we really doing about those things? What is the point of the scrolling, the pinning, the watching... if it doesn't in turn help us, urge us, or create in us a gusto to actually sit down and write that book, or learn to use that camera, or sew that dress, or play that instrument. If what is in us never has a chance to come out, and if we never have the time to de-clutter and release into the world what we need to, what is the point?
If my writing does not tell you to go pick up your own pen and do what you love, then what is the use of it? Good art leaves us in awe and wonder. It inspires us to believe in who we are. It inspires us to say "Hey! I can do that! I believe in me! I believe in the goodness of the world!" I love creating, but my art must have purpose. Just as we were created, Each and Every One of us has purpose.
So what will you do now? What plans will you make? Put down your phone, close your screens, make a plan. You don't have to follow your plan, but at least have ideas and jot them down. Start small. Decide what you want to do. And then, turn off the clutter.
I was inspired by someone a couple months ago who told me... us actually, it was a group of adult mentors... that someone once called him a hypocrite. The man told him something like this "You encourage kids to follow their dreams, you tell them they can do anything and they don't amount to what has happened to them in the past, but you aren't following your own dreams right now." So he took that to heart. He started to write more scripts, he decided to learn the piano to play for his now wife. He used the clutter of YouTube to learn to play the piano! How awesome it that!? He decided to do what he always wanted to. He let the desires that were inside of him come out and happen. Now his words have power, his posts have meaning, and his company is booming.
So what are we doing when we say "follow me as I follow Christ?" What are we doing with those dreams in our hearts? Are we creating? Are we Be-ing? Are we making it a point to do what we love? Or are we just simply watching others while stuck in our "dead-end jobs" or whatever that means, and simply scrolling, pining, and liking. I have an exciting update for you! The time is now, the place is here and the garden is your mind.
So next time you pick up Instagram or look through Facebook, ask yourself: 1. Is this a good use of my time? 2. What am I doing to make my own dreams happen? and 3. What am I doing to help make, create, and foster the dreams of others?
So, be that person's real-life friend. Pursue that relationship. Reupholster that furniture you've been meaning to. Finish that book you started but left off on chapter three. Raise those funds for school. Throw that party.
You can do it! I believe in you!
You were created for that.