Is your motive to be well known by others or to know others well? #heartcheck
As far as "being well known" goes, I'm not referring to the healthy/normal desire to be heard, understood, cared for, and loved -- I'm referring to the desire to be well known for the satisfaction of people knowing who you are and what you're doing or to get more followers or likes. Are you saying things just to say them because you know it's what others want to hear? Are you spending hard earned money just to "keep up" or "fit in"? Would you have purchased it if no one ever saw it or knew you had it? Are you the one usually doing the talking or are you the one listening? Of course there are seasons and circumstances for both, but I'm hoping you know what I'm getting at.
I've had heart check after heart check, nudge after nudge while scrolling on instagram recently and have had burning questions and concerns for myself and for others. Ultimately, I know in my heart that other people's choices are none of my concern, just as mine aren't others'. I'm just a girl sharing my own thoughts, opinions, and personal convictions simply to share. I do kind of hope maybe I'm not alone because, well, it's nice not to feel alone -- especially with something near or dear to your heart.
So, instagram. On my journey so far with social media it has been good, weird, encouraging, frustrating, and most of all eye opening. I've discovered what I truly care about and what I don't. I've received a plethora of free products in exchange for reviews and/or a photo of me and my family using said products. I've "met" many encouraging gals and I've "met" many of quite the opposite. I receive messages saying that I'm "changing lives" and "inspiring so many people" while also receiving messages saying "why would you stop breastfeeding" and "how did you get so many followers?" (which this last one gets me all icky and sweaty because ew. I have gained followers from posting pretty photos with honest words, and sometimes I'm funny. LOL. All along the way I've tried to be as kind, honest, and genuine to who I am and what I am all about.
Another question I've asked myself and wonder of others:
How fully can we really be living if we are living it (even with good intentions) through our little lens on our phone and through these teeny squares? There are of course pluses and minuses to social media, just like most everything else in the world. I do recognize that everyone is different and has different views which I respect and appreciate.
Aside from social media, I've had even more heart checks and nudges regarding real life -- in the moment, screen free, uncensored, sometimes messy/sometimes clean REAL LIFE.
So, relationships. I feel as though I am at least thinking on this word/topic once a day at least. AT LEAST.
Mostly I ask myself "Who are my true friends? Like, true friends?"
"Who invests in me? Emotionally and physically makes it a point to see me in the flesh?"
"Who am I investing in?"
"Who helps me grow?"
"Who can I help grow?"
"Why aren't some friends as in it as I am?"
"Should I be more invested in certain friends?"
Etc. Etc. Etc.
In other words, I have put a lot of thought into this area of life. Especially lately. Probably being approx. 2,000 miles away from the place I called home for 22+ years and only hearing from select few on a semi-regular basis and feeling truly supported by even fewer. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder and while I believe that can be true, I also have found that distance can make the heart ponder. To wonder. To ask. Who is important? What is important? What am I doing? What do I want? WHO AM I?! Okay, so I'm not asking all of these all at once every single day, but I think a lot and I feel even more.
So anyways, I'm a feeler. I'm sensitive. Not in a 'cry at the drop of a hat' kind of way, but in a 'I know what you mean even though you are saying something different with your words or actions'. I'm analytical. I'm anxiety ridden if I'm not careful. Most of all, I'm caring. I care. So much that it has gotten me hurt in the past. I'm an imperfect person doing the best I can.
I want to grow. I want to listen. I want to learn. I always want to make sure I'm truly doing the best I can. Near or far. Tired or peppy. I want to know others and know them well. I want to know people sitting across from me. I want to know people outside of teeny squares on a screen.
I'm tired of the way my neck hurts if I'm on my phone endlessly scrolling. I'm tired of feeling like I can't speak my mind and what's in my heart because it doesn't vibe well with instagram "etiquette". Instagram etiquette interfering with real life just shouldn't be a thing. Like, if following someone on social media isn't building you up, encouraging you, or if it's causing you more harm than good to your mental health, there shouldn't have to be a "pressure" to follow despite your true feelings. You are allowed to follow and unfollow as you please. Whether it's on their end or your end, do it if it brings you peace. Make a choice and stick to it. My husband sent a meme that said "just because someone doesn't follow you on instagram doesn't mean they don't follow you on instagram". This is so unbelievably true and I cracked up as soon as I got the joke. I'm guilty of this and have found that my mental health is in a better state once I unfollow content that doesn't encourage me and afterwards not partaking in being an "insta spy". You know what I mean. If you don't want certain things going into your mind, unfollow. I know that what I'm putting out there isn't for everyone and not everyone is going to want to see my posts. That's okay. I also know that the same goes for me and seeing or not seeing other content.
I am guilty of trying to get more followers by posing photos and posting more regularly just to post.
I am guilty of spending too much time with my screen and not enough with my beautiful babies.
I keep almost starting the next sentence with "but" -- but I'm not trying to defend or excuse anything...
Soooooo, I am also guilty of trying to do collaborations to genuinely help pay a bill or give my boys something I wouldn't normally be able to afford two of. I am guilty of using "those" hashtags because I genuinely want to find more moms and more moms to find me so I/we/they can relate more. I truly love art, photography, organization, bright, and white. I really do have a tidy (not scrubbed clean) home 90% of the time and I do it because it gives me peace and calms my spirit.
So yeah, I'm going to continue using instagram because overall it currently does me more good than bad, but I'm also very open to cutting it cold turkey if I found it necessary to have a healthier happier life without it. I'm going to continue being myself and speaking my mind and telling my truth. I'm going to continue sharing my home and yes, my babies! Now for the *not going to continues* -- I'm done endlessly scrolling ESPECIALLY if there are humans that I love and care about sitting right in the same room as me. Countless times I've seen people share a post or story of a "get together" and every. single. person. is on their phone. Yikes. I feel like the words community and together have a second meaning now - one being physically in the same place and one being physically, emotionally, and spiritually together. All I know is I want more of that. I want to teach and demonstrate that for my children.
I want to make sure and get this point across >> If you want to say things, buy things, post things, etc. do it because you want to and like it, not because you think someone else wants you to or will like it. But also, do what you want because you are you and that is your power. All of this is simply my own thoughts, opinions, "advice", and convictions.
I'm tired of thinking these things and talking about these things, it's time to put my words into action.
So, here I go.